Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Review: Struts and Frets

Dear Blog,
Sorry about the quality of the picture.  But I felt like I ought to say something about Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron, and a cover makes things interesting.  Ta-da! *points to cover*  This is Struts and Frets!  *jazz hands*.

Summary (from Goodreads): Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together? [close]
Review: I'll list various things because the inside cover of the hardcover edition lists things: (These Are The Things That Keep Sammy Awake At Night, So Read This Book If You...that sort of thing)
Some Reasons I Like This Book:
  • It's told with the point of view of a boy.  I read little contemporary fiction, and even less with a male narrator.  I thought it was an interesting insight into the mind of the opposite sex.
  • In relation to the last bullet point, Sammy's voice seemed so very realistic.  Well, to my mind.  I don't know if any boys would read this and go, "pffft!"  and laugh.  But Jon Skovron is obviously a male and most likely speaks from experience.
  • Still lingering on Sammy's character (he must be good to have 3 bullet points mentioning him), he's both ordinary and unique. That balance makes him likeable and easy to relate to.  He's like any other teenage boy.  He worries about love and the future of his band and his grandfather.
  • I really liked the relationship between Sammy and Jen5 (there were four other Jennifers in their class at school and all the other Jennifer-related names were taken).   All teenagers will be able to relate to and in away learn from it.
  • The main reason I love Struts and Frets: This book is chock-full of music, much like If I Stay. But it's a different sort of music. Instead of being a cellist, Sammy plays in an indie-rock band and his grandfather is a jazz musician. But still, it's music, and it feels fantastically alive. Unlike some other music-related books I could mention (ahem, The Journal of Danny Chaucer by Roger Stevens). There's even a Rock and Jazz Mash-up Playlist at the back of the book, and it's fun to look the songs up on YouTube and think about how they're related to the book.
Some Things  I Didn't Like:
  • I can't really think of anything...Oh, there is one thing I guess.  There's a lot of swearing in this book and it doesn't really add anything to the story. That's all :D
Summary: boy or girl, Struts and Frets is a must-read.  Read, listen, enjoy.  4/5

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