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A Reader of Fictions: Punk Rock Princess - Something Corporate

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Punk Rock Princess - Something Corporate

My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star

Author: Joyce Raskin
Illustrator: Carol Chu
Pages: 107 (the story's only 87)
ARC Acquired From: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Alexis has a big crush on her brother's friend Tod, so when he asks her to learn to play bass, she agrees. At first, all she can make are farting sounds, but she gets pretty good after a while. Alexis gains confidence and makes friends through the bass, going from loser to enviable rock chick.

Or, at least, that's supposed to be what you get from this brief novella, but I'm not so sure. I hated Alexis from page one. I've thought about it and the best word to describer her is ninny. Alexis is a ninny. She spends the opening chapters whining about how unpopular is and how she doesn't have boobs and no boys like her and she doesn't even have her period yet and how she has a boy's name and how she's not pretty and how she just got her period and waaah, surprise, it sucks. Oh my god, why? Why do I have to read this?

Then, she learns to play the bass and whines somewhat less. Instead, she now finds power in whether or not she has a boyfriend. Good role model? Not so much. Even in the end, when she believes herself to be all enlightened and confident, it definitely comes off as more of a confidence because she has friends than her being confident now thus earning her friends.

To make it worse, the book manages to be extremely stereotypical. There are so many insulting comments about what guys are like and girls are like; this does not flatter either gender. For example, all guys talk about is sex and they all cheat on girls, which is why you can't be real friends with them. Oh really, book? Because I'm pretty sure I've had tons of guy friends and some of them are, shockingly enough, capable of carrying on a conversation about, you know, lots of other things. Ugh to the nth power.

Despite having absolutely no depth in terms of characters, writing, or plot, My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star does manage to be preachy. Yeah! The author clearly wants kids to be straightedge and not smoke pot. This whole message is exceedingly heavy-handed and really is not convincing, since it comes along with the idea that, if you plan an instrument, people will like you.

All of that aside, this is a really weird book, because it's aimed at teens, but it's only 88 pages long. With illustrations, which are incredibly awful btw (although that does make it possible that Alexis, not the shiniest knife in the drawer, drew them). This is shorter than a manga volume. So, in terms of length and the complexity of the writing, it would be best for children, but clearly it's not intended to be for kids. I imagine it's aimed at younger teen reluctant readers, but this would not make me want to read more books.

"If you should be my punk rock princess,
So I could be your garage band king.
You could tell me why you just don't fit in,
And how you're gonna be something."

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Blogger Owl In A Cloak said...

Wow. It's a good thing I didn't pick that up in the book store. I had to choose between this and Five Flavors of Dumb by Anthony John and that one proved to be okay.

March 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Good choice. This was all kinds of ridiculous.

March 29, 2012 at 8:27 AM  

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