Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: "For the Record" by Charlotte Huang

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

My thanks to Random House Children's via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book was a lot of fun, and while not perfect, I really enjoyed reading it. I was expecting "For the Record" to be heavy on the cheese, but it actually kept that factor to a minimum. The writing was solid, and I had a couple laughs sprinkled throughout. I liked the added dimension of the whole rock band trope, too.  Not only is Chelsea thrown into the public eye (again) but she is expected to fit in with a group who aren't exactly welcoming her with open arms.  The guys in Melbourne did not have much say in whether or not Chelsea would join the band, so not only has she not been with them from the beginning, she also hasn't written any of their songs and she hasn't struggled to climb the charts with them.  She hasn't earned her stripes, so to speak.  This would be a tough gig for anyone, let alone a girl with as low self esteem as Chelsea has.  

Even though the closest I've come to being a rock star is making up a name for my (fictional) band, I still found that Chelsea was a girl I could relate to, and I can fully understand why high school was so rough for her.  She was severely let down by her first and only hookup, so no wonder her confidence is shattered. The rumours from that disaster left her with only one friend in the whole world, so she's just a wee bit skeptical when movie star Lucas starts paying attention to her. This also leads to a small love triangle (or square, come to think of it!) so all those triangle haters out there, heads up!  I call it small because it's pretty evident which boy will come out the winner, but still... Anyway, the triangle here did not bother me at all because it was essential to show Chelsea's growth. Aaaaand, that's all I am going to say about that.

This book reminded me a bit of Emery Lord's "Open Road Summer", but not enough that I would say read one over the other. "For the Record" is perhaps a bit lighter and fluffier, but definitely not in a bad way.  Recommended to those wanting to live out their dreams of rock super stardom from the comfort of their own home (or those with no actual musical talent)!

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