Thursday, April 21, 2016
For the Record by Charlotte Huang
When punk rock band Melbourne's lead singer jumps ship to live a normal life, if the band of prep school punks wants to stay together they have to find a new lead singer. Enter our narrator, Chelsea. A runner up on a "Who wants to be a pop star?" sort of reality show, Chelsea gets the chance of lifetime when she is asked to go on tour fronting a band that she used to simply be a fan of. Eager to leave her hometown where a scrape with an ex-boyfriend has left her on the outs, Chelsea jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, getting in with the band isn't as easy as being their lead singer, and as Chelsea tries to make a place for herself on tour, her relationship with a movie star who is every girl's dream and forays into ill-conceived advertising threaten to tear what remains of the band apart.
For the Record is, essentially, fan fiction for a fictional band. Chelsea may be a little big and a lot insecure, but she is, for most of the book at least, the quintessential Mary Sue, arriving on the scene to save a band in crisis with her vocal stylings, happening to fall in love with movie superstar Lucas Rivers, and even using her very limited capital to bring her best friend on tour as the merch girl. Obviously, there is a love triangle with a band mate, an "artistic" feud with another band mate, and a crop of unexpected betrayals all around.
For me, this book was entirely brain candy. It was predictable enough that I might not have finished it but for the fact that I needed a breather after finishing a dense, slow read of a book. For the Record, despite its flaws, is a fun romp with a band on tour, full of drama and with a fast reading first person narration. While it's unlikely to make my best reads of the year list, I can't deny that I got what I came for, a fun, quick-reading "brain break."