Razorbill (April 10, 2008)
The first (and sadly, so far, only) 'advance' book I've gotten from Penguin, I actually got after the book came out...only by about eight days but then graduations and something like five trips happened and it's taken me from April 18th when I got it until now, June 12th to post a review.... Penguin's not going to want to send me any more, are they?
And that's really a shame because Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway is one of my absolute favorite books of late. Audrey, the 16-year-old main character, has a self centered boyfriend who just happens to be in a local band. No big deal, right?
Except she decides to break up with him right before a show and the song it drives him to write about her (hint: it's not exactly flattering) is actually good and takes the Do-Gooders from local wanna-be's to MTV it-boys with the country's number one songs.
And it takes Audrey from an ordinary (or as ordinary as Audrey, with all her idiosyncrasies ever was-which is why I love her so) high school student waiting to go to her next concert to being discussed on the internet and having her fashion choices critiqued in national magazines.
Robin Benway seems to have seen a People or an Us Weekly photo with a caption of "So and So Famous Person and Friend" and wondered what happens to that Friend when everyone around them finds out they're becoming 'Famous' or even when the whole country finds out who they are even though they've done nothing to ask for it....and then written a book about that.
Audrey has to deal with fangirls--both Evan's (her ex) and her own, with girls' jealousy, possibly a new boy, work, school, unwanted celebrity, growing up....everything that should be in a book with a 16-year-old character is still there, but it's also blended with the plot of Audrey's-The-Focus-of-The-Song. I adore this book and hope Robin Benway writes many, many more that are half as good as this one.
I give it 10/10...and I already have at least four people I'm going to tell they *have* to read it (and one of the chapters starting with Fall Out Boy lyrics can only help my case...they all start with fantastic lyrics, not all by FoB, but all great and very fitting).
Amazon says the reading level is 9-12 and my book says ages 12+, but really I think that content/language (as in actual words used not language complexity ;))-wise, it shouldn't be for nine year-old's and possibly, not 12-year-old's either...I'd maybe even say 14+ but that might be just me :)
I definitely recommend this book, though, if anyone's looking for a summer read--especially if you enjoy music and wish more books had characters (girls especially) who liked their bands; going to concerts...Or books that have even a mention of the Clash in them :) edit: I think you'll also like the book Principles of Love by Emily Franklin if you liked Audrey, Wait!