“Lucy Gosling had imagined a lot of different ways that her friendship with Harper McKenzie might end. One of them had involved Harper being locked up in the Tower of London for the crime of being the most heinous bitch that Britain had ever seen. Another had involved Lucy using her drumstick in a way that would have impressed a ninja. None of them had involved finding Harper’s dead body in a swimming pool in LA.”
When five schoolgirls get together to start a bit at Harper McKenzie’s suggestion, they have no idea just how far they are going to make it. Tryouts for popular reality TV show Project Next turn into semi finalists and then finalists. They are whisked off to LA to record an LP and spend two months playing gigs and learning how to look the part before going up against the other British finalists and the two America finalists. But LA is different to what they might have expected and things soon turn sour. It is up to Drummer Lucy to keep the bands beat moving together, but that is harder than she thought.
OK so I have read a few band gone big stories in my time, Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning was incredible, and more recently I loved You Don’t Know Me by Sophia Bennett, so I was looking forward to Drummer Girl a lot. What I got from Drummer Girl was completely unexpected, but brilliant all the same.
The story moved pretty fast and we jumped from Lucy finding Harper’s body, back to Harper asking Lucy and the others to be involved in the band then to the band becoming finalists and flying off to LA in the space of 50 pages. I liked this as it meant a lot of the book was actually their LA story and even though it jumped a little still, it was a bit slower paced from then on.
As I said Drummer Girl was completely different to what I expected as I had expected a bit of a feel good contemporary band story that followed the girls to LA where they fell in love and won the finals. In my mind they got everything they wanted so I was shocked from the minute I read the first page, quoted above. There is death, mistrust, rape, drugs, drinking, talent, lying, friendship, sex, love, and an awful lot of rock and roll in Drummer Girl and it covered a lot of topics really well, especially the rape bits. I was impressed with how things were handled and it made me love the book even more. I honestly think that I would have given this book a five out of five if it wasn’t for the bit about Lucy’s parents. I understand why it was done, I really do, however as a mother figure to a teenager I can’t get on board with what happened and I thought it was completely selfish of Lucy, and her parents. If my child did what Lucy did I would be on the next plane to LA and be dragging her home by her ear. But that was my only negative about this book.
With immensely written characters Bridget Tyler manages to evoke all kinds of feelings as you are reading. I wanted to rip pages out when certain characters were on them and with others I wanted to hate them, but couldn’t. I LOVED Alexander as a friendly, father figure for Lucy and I thought his character was really well portrayed. I hated Tomas, Ash and Rafe, but they deserved to be hated. Harper and Toni were pains sometimes too, as was Lucy actually but I loved them because when they weren’t being pains they were amazing 17 year old girls.
I loved that the book also explored the idea of being 17 and knowing everything about the world, yet being wrong. Lets face it, anyone who is older knows that when you are 17 you do think you’re suddenly so grown up and known everything there is about life. Lucy gets that, and even though she grows up a lot during the course of the book, she still thinks it at the end. Yet She is wrong, not in a bad way though and the book kinda just explains that really, no one knows everything about everything so just enjoy what you have got.
Drummer Girl was a fantastic bit of teen literature which will appeal to the masses, even if they don’t like rock music. Its definitely worth a read due to its incredible characters and its fantastic way of dealing with difficult topics.
Drummer Girl was published on May 1st by Templar. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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