Friday, 28 February 2014
Review: The Rock 'n' Roll Diaries - Making It by Jamie Scallion
Publisher: Mad Notes Media
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: November 1st, 2013
When Burt decides he must start a rock band to win the love of Bex, the hottest girl in the school, he is forced to assemble a group who wouldn’t normally be seen dead together. The RockAteers are born. It must work, and not just for Burt’s sake. Egg has spent his life on the outside looking in, Tea needs to avoid becoming part of his criminal family and Clipper yearns for more than a fast track to a football academy. When Egg reveals his song-writing genius, the only way is up… Can four opposites led by an ego-maniac function as a band and navigate the music industries shark infested waters? Who will win the race to sign them? And who will get the girl?
If you like music and you like teen fiction, let me just tell you now: you need to read this book! It's funny, fast and honest too. It'll tell you how the music industry works, how hard it is to get a band noticed but also how amazing it is to do what you love in a group of your best friends. I read it really fast and quickly became invested in The RockAteers and their burgeoning music career. It's exactly how I'd imagine The Inbetweeners if they decided to start a rock band!
The RockAteers is made up of four teenage members: Burt the lead singer, Egg the songwriter and guitarist, Tea the bassist and Clipper the drummer. They all come together through auditions held by Burt, and quickly form a well-received band who look like they're on the road to success. As with all groups of young guys, tensions rise, arguments are had and, as always, girls come between them. There's lots of swearing, raucous behaviour and angst - basically your typical teenage boys!
Each character has their moment to shine, and each stands out in their own way. If faced with choosing a favourite I'd probably have to go for Egg and his songwriting skills, though I'm also quite fond of Clipper. Burt annoyed me for the majority of the book, even though his actions can be related back to his difficult home life. He's your typical egotistical, self-involved frontman who doesn't care about anybody but himself, which I'm sure is true of a lot of real life bands and singers. I warmed to him more by the end of the book, but he's one I'd stay well away from if he actually existed!
I like how this book is written, with diary entries from the boys interspersed throughout. It gives an insight into what they're thinking and feeling, and provides some pretty funny moments. It's also interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes in the music industry, which is notorious for causing scandals and being all about the money. I'm not sure how much is true and how much is exaggerated, but either way it's eye-opening to read about, mostly thanks to author Jamie Scallion's expert insider knowledge on the subject.
I'd recommend The Rock 'n' Roll Diaries to any YA readers looking for a fun, music-filled book that is guaranteed to entertain. It's the first in a proposed four book series about The RockAteers and, with how this first book ended, the second book should be very interesting indeed. It's a great read for boys and girls (but especially boys - they'll love it), and anyone in or thinking of joining a band. As an added bonus, you can also listen to some RockAteers songs online - how cool is that?!