Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Face the Music: A Life Exposed

Hands down the best music memoir I've ever read. I couldn't put it down;  I read this massive tome in one day. I'm a pretty recent Kiss convert, after seeing them in Indianapolis on their fortieth anniversary tour, I knew I was in love. I had grown up hearing the songs, saw Detroit Rock City, Role Models, etc. But nothing prepared me for seeing them live. They were amazing! So being the librarian that I am, I decided to read more about them. I recalled that Paul Stanley had recently written a memoir so I decided to start there. I am soo glad I did. It was the perfect introduction to the world of Kiss. Paul writes about his humble beginnings, his insecurity, the gradual rise to fame, and the internal conflicts. The memoir is peppered with great photographs that help visualize the story. Insanely great. I went from knowing virtually nothing about Kiss to getting a great overview on the history of the band. It also sets the story straight about Peter and Ace, even Gene to an extant. At parts he sounded a little whiney and bitchy about his fellow band members, but it was probably well deserved. A must read for anyone in the Kiss Army.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

I LOVED the concept for this book. It was totally engrossing and unique. Tens are going to eat this shit up! This story pieces together the life of Addison Stone through interviews, emails, articles, photographs, and paintings. Addison was a famous New York Artist who tragically died when she was only 18, this book attempts to piece together her life from people who knew her best or thought they knew her. Addison came from humble beginnings with a broken home and some severe mental problems. Art was her escape. When she was 17 she won some major art scholarships that enabled her to study in New York. She promptly became a splash and the next IT girl. New friends, new lovers, and new artwork awaited her, but her mental problems followed her to the city. This is her story, not in her own words but in the words of the people that surrounded her.

I loved the mix of narrative and art in this book, it makes it read even faster. For fans of young fiction and the New York art scene.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mortal Danger

I really like the premise of this book. It's like Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" mixed with high school drama aimed at teens. Edie is an unattractive, overweight girl who has been bullied to her breaking point, just as she is about to leap from a bridge to put an end to her suffering a hand reaches out to stop her. One of the most attractive men Edie has ever seen stops her suicide mission with an offer; live and she will be granted three wishes. Of course though there are strings attached. She will have to repay the favors somehow in her life. She accepts the offer so she can wreak revenge on the classmates that made her life a living hell. She becomes beautiful and confident and just as she thinks her life can't get any better Edie realizes just how over her head she really is. Shadowy forces watch her, taunt her, harm people she loves. Now she is a pawn in the game of the immortals. Can she rely on smoking hott, Kian, to be on her side when the shit really starts to get crazy? Who knew revenge could be so complicated?

Overall, I liked it, I'm anxious to see where the next book goes. I think I like it so much because I can relate with Edie. Not that I hate my life or want to end it, but I can understand wanting to be pretty and well liked it. Who wouldn't?

A thought provoking book for teens looking for a new series.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wonderkid

Stace, Wesley. Wonderkid. 10 CDs. unabridged. 11 hrs 55 mins. Dreamscape Media. 2014. ISBN 9781629236988. 

Perhaps the greatest band that never existed, author Wesley Stace (you may also know him as folk singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding), sure makes you wish they had. Under the direction of the madly energetic and bizarre Blake Lear, a group of London misfits goes from being an unnoticed nonsense band to an overnight sensation in America. The reason for their success? The record label saw potential in their mad rag tag group and decided to market them to a new audience, children. In Los Angeles they pick up some new band members and put together a show that kids and their parents will enjoy. Everyone music. Told from the perspective of Sweet (Lear's recently adopted kid, only ten years his junior), the gradual rise of the Wonderkids is a sight to behold. It is laugh out loud funny and oh so believable. Regrettably, the story started out a bit slow, but by the time the band is in America it picks up massive momentum and becomes impossible to stop listening to. There is added authenticity to the story as it is narrated brilliantly by the author, complete with British twang, hilarious impressions and two bonus songs at the end. A must read for fans of music memoirs and humor. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fangirl

I could not put this book down! I loved every painful, hysterical, endearing second of it and it made me love Rainbow Rowell even more! I thought Eleanor and Park was good but this is EVEN better. It rang soo true and I love how real it felt. The characters in this story are so believable that it's sad when you realize that they are fictional. This story follows identical twins, Cath and Wren, has they embark on their first year of college. Wren is outgoing and quickly turns into a party girl but quiet, reserved Cath has a hard time even leaving the room. It's safer when she's working on the latest installment of her fanfiction. Cath is an amazing writer and she loves to lose herself to the world of Simon Snow. It's hard for her to adjust to a big state college with lots of people, hard assignments, and a new social order. When Cath's roommate Reagan and her friend, Levi, take her under their wings she starts to wonder if there is maybe more to life than her fanfiction. It's a story of friendship, first love, growing up, and obviously fanfiction. It's funny, believable, and oh so good. What are you waiting for?!? Read this book!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paper Towns

Thankfully people did such a good job of lowering my expectations on this novel that I actually really enjoyed it! People have told me over and over that it's not NEARLY as good as Looking for Alaska or The Fault in Our Stars, so I didn't set the bar as high. I needn't have been worried because wherever the bar had been set I still quite enjoyed it!

It may not have been the most realistic teen novel ever but I really enjoyed it! Basically the premise of the story is that Quentin thinks that his neighbor (and supreme hottie), Margo, has gone missing and left a slew of clues for him to follow. At first his friends think it's weird, why would she run away and want Q to find her?!? He's not exactly at the top of the high school totem pole and neither are his friends. Once they start picking up on her trail of breadcrumbs though, they become transfixed on the hunt for Margo. This is a story of discovering yourself and your friends. A must for fans of teen lit and John Green.

Side note, I can't wait to see the movie adaptation!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Walking Dead: Book Nine

I spoke too soon in my last review of the previous Walking Dead installment, shit just got real. Just when I think the gang might be able to catch a break, PSYCH! let the awfulness continue. We know have a new crazy psycho enemy in the picture and he just might be worse than the governor, hard to believe right? Wrong, this guy is plain crazy. We are also introduced to another community, a seemingly good one, albeit crazy. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment when it comes out in the fall. I must know what happens!!!