Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Death of a Rock Star

Wow.  I just finished reading How to Kill a Rock Star, by Tiffanie DeBartolo and it's one of those books that I started and initially thought, "Eh...I don't know about this one..."  It didn't immediately pull me in and demand anything from me.  I almost gave up, which isn't something I do with books very often, but I felt like this one wasn't going anywhere.  Yet, this tiny little voice -one that suspiciously sounded A LOT like Colleen Hoover- kept saying, "Keep going, you'll get there.  You'll get there."  So, I did what any semi-normal person who hears her favorite author's voice inside her head would do, and I kept reading.  And I kept reading.  And I read some more...until I finished.  Then, I felt like I needed to apologize to CoHo for doubting her.  This book was her recommendation, after all.  It's her "favorite," or so she claims...and I think I get it.

How to Kill a Rock Star is the story of Eliza, who upon moving to New York City, decided to be roommates with Paul, the lead singer from her brother's band, Bananafish. She's warned by her brother Michael and her best friend, Vera, repeatedly to not get involved with him because he will only hurt her.  Sometimes, temptation is a bitch.  

Eliza helps Paul and the rest of Bananafish, or "the Michaels" as they're affectionately known as, get signed on a major record label to record a real studio album.  Eliza wants this dream to come true for them and won't let anything stop it from becoming a reality, even if it means making the most painful choice she's ever had to make.

Like I said earlier, this book did not immediately pull me in.  I had to keep going and really feel the book and the emotions lying beneath all the words, beneath the song lyrics. beneath the characters.  As I kept reading, I didn't even realize how invested my heart and my head became in the story.  I didn't realize it until emotion was demanded from me, through the course of events in the story, and I sat there with big swelling tears in my eyes, loving this story and then sort of hating it all the same. That's also when I knew that I got it.  I understood, totally, why CoHo loved it. I also felt that I even understood, to some degree, how her first novel, Slammed came about. She was definitely inspired by this story and I love how she used some elements from Rock Star and used them in Slammed.  Both brilliant books.

DeBartolo tells this story with such authority on the music industry, probably because she does in fact work in the biz.  She clearly used her knowledge to help pepper this story with realism and honesty.  She knows the tortured musician.  She knows the record execs, their promises and their lies.  She knows the Yokos who turn everything into nothing at all.  She uses all of this and is able to tell a beautiful story that inspires the music lover in her readers.  She begs of us to feel sympathy towards the musician and their here-today-gone-tomorrow lives.

I've never read anything by this author in the past, and it appears that she's only written one other book.  I look forward to reading it though because something tells me that I might end up liking it too.  Until then...let's hope this isn't DeBartolo's "one and done" hit novel because I'd love to see more from her.


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