I like music and I like fiction, but consuming each is a different type of experience – reading is more for the mind while music touches the body and soul. I won’t put on a coat and walk a few blocks to hear a favorite author speak for free, but I’ll happily wait three hours on a cold rainy night for Volbeat (who are coming to town with Anthrax, by the way).
Can the two be put together well? Music fiction struck me as a cheesy genre, but I hadn’t read any. It didn’t take long to find a small stack of music-y novels in the library. Thanks, New York Public Library. I love you most of all.
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway sounded like a good time and sometimes that’s all I want in a book. Most times that’s all I want in a song. So maybe the two together could be a good thing, like that friend you never mind dropping by because something weird always happens.
Audrey didn’t enjoy dumping Ethan, but it had to be done because she didn’t like him that much anymore. At least now it’s over. Or not. This is an improbable story of a girl who dumps a boy, dumped boy writes angry breakup song about girl, song is a hit and both are suddenly famous. My difficulty with this book started early on as I found the plot increasingly hard to digest. The song is called “Audrey, Wait!” so naturally it draws attention to its muse, but I can’t imagine someone would become wildly famous just for having an impressively lame song written about her.
So 16-year-old Audrey is the it girl in that confusing she-did-nothing-to-earn-it way. Her weird fame leads to a whole book of unwanted attention and whining. All she wants is to be normal, anonymous and able to make out with a random frontman without it going viral. You know, the usual hopes and dreams.
The writing and story are pretty silly and I was right about the cheesiness. This one is smothered in bright orange, melted Velveeta. But if you have the reading munchies, it’s a fine late night snack that you probably won’t remember in the morning. Not many get a glimpse of the other side, seeing firsthand how bizarre it must be to have fans who emulate, idolize, make gifts, harass and develop an insatiable hunger for the smallest details of daily life.
The story overextends itself trying to make the What if she became famous? come full circle. I probably would have liked this book when I was 12 and thought the teenage years would be this magical time of going to shows, driving around, eating fast food, having sex and drinking. That’s kind of how life is portrayed here minus the magic and vulnerabilities that make this age so complex and weird.
Now I have a craving for some good music fiction. Haven’t read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad yet. Any recommendations?