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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Act Naturally: The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor, Review + Giveaway!

Hi readers!

Welcome back to another day, another post…here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  A quick reminder to all you bookish people out that (me included, though it’s not a reminder for me since I’m reminding you…hehe), we have yet another contest ending tonight (yep, ANOTHER) and still more to come so for all the latest, be sure to check out the right hand sidebar under “Current Contests”.  Now, back to the fun at hand (and the explanation for the clip art up there) …

Today’s book takes you on a musical journey of sorts, exploring the life and times of one of the most infamous groups to grace the airwaves in a brand new way….from the inside out.  Curious?  You should be.  It’s a recent addition to the YA lit scene and while it may seem to have limited appeal title wise…message wise it’s good for all.  Today’s book of choice is….


Can you imagine reaching the heights of fame, fortune, and notoriety that your greatest musical (or otherwise) idol has?  Regina can and she wants it so much not only for herself but her entire band…she can taste it.  Her dream?  To reach the super stardom realm of infamy inhabited by the Beatles…her absolute favorite band.  After one of the worst days of her life, Gina (as she’s known to her friends and family) makes an arbitrary wish, the results of which she won’t soon forget.  One moment, utter unknowns with a band falling apart at the seams; one sunrise later, a whole new world…her wish having become a dream come true. 

She lands smack dab in the middle of Cavern-mania….a media and fan induced craze inspired by their music.  The Caverns.  HER band.  But wait…something isn’t quite right.  Being the fan that she is, Gina’s room has its fair share (okay, more than its fair share) of Beatles memorabilia….bobble heads, posters, records, and the like.    Now, it’s all been replaced with images of…herself and her friends; weird…but cool.  Stranger still, she seems to be the only one that is aware of this shift in realities...everyone else just thinks it’s another day in “paradise”.  As if that wasn’t enough, the tension between her and her band mates, while high the previous day due to the supposed break up (although since she’s in another reality I guess that’s a moot point) is even more palpable now….WHY is the question. 

It seems her fairy godmother got it all wrong…or did she?  Super stardom, jet setting, money, high profile boyfriend….a girl could get use to all that.  I mean really, what more COULD she ask for?  What more indeed.  Gina’s about to discover that while the ends may meet the means, giving her everything she’s always dreamed of…without the journey to get there it may not quite be the “heaven” she’s always imagined.

So how does a girl like me with no particular fondness for the Beatles end up reading a book about a girl becoming them?  Simple; I received an email from Ksenia the great at Feiwel and Friends lending me the necessary insight to take a look beyond the title/cover.  In fact, let’s discuss this title for a second.  While it gets to the point of the story, it is perhaps a bit TOO much to the point.  There’s no mystery; no chance to wonder at what it could be about.  It’s just there in black and orange font.  Now I appreciate straightforwardness as much as the next person but a little mystery goes a long way.  Had I not read about the story a bit more, I can honestly say…the title would not have drawn me in.  Apart from rabid fans of the group, I’m not certain who it would speak to really…but lucky me, I had that insider’s look.  I say lucky because all in all…it was a good read.

It reads a lot like Freaky Friday meets 17 Again…just without the younger and older version of ones self to deal with.  Or perhaps it’s closer to draw a comparison between it and The Prince and the Pauper when royalty and the common man change place for a time.  Any way you slice it, it has echoes of those stories that came before it, but they remain just that…echoes.  The author takes the story and the characters on a journey of their own to a land where replacing your idol is common place and the decision on whether to stay or not is all up to you.  It was an interesting concept I admit, especially with the fairy godmother (not really a fairy, not a godmother per se) communicating electronically (we’re talking email baby…yep, a fairy that’s hip to the times). 

The characters on the other hand were a mixed bag.  While I could understand the turmoil brewing within Gina’s own little group on both reality plains as well as the unspoken feelings she held for a particular love interest, there was a time or two that I wondered if she was “for real”.  I suppose that’s bound to happen when dealing with alternate realities, I mean if she’s not really her, how can she come off as three dimensional…right?  Still, she was believable enough to want to follow her through the various adventures she has….and enjoy a bit of celebrity status she “earned”.  Her experience rocking out to the songs she’s loved for most her life was enviable as you imagine the euphoria she was feeling. 

Then there’s Aberthy…a seemingly inconsequential driver whose wisdom runs far deeper than merely knowing the best way to get from point A to B.  Take note readers…some characters are much more important than they appear on the surface.  I did not however connect with her mother who was a rather selfish person in both lives (totally due to my own experience with Mom not the writing).  My Mom has always been so dependable whereas hers…not so much; it’s not an uncommon betrayal of parents in literature, but still her phantom appearances irked me.  That being said, back to the story….

The messages are clear and speak to both the mind AND the soul. 

  • Be yourself for that is as original as it gets and the only way to ensure a genuine enjoyable ride on this crazy trip we call life. 
  • Have faith in yourself and don’t always wait for things to happen…MAKE THEM HAPPEN. 
  • Time waits for no one…don’t be that “no one” waiting for it. 

(Hmm…sounds like a message many of us could learn from, myself included…)  It’s a book that reminds you that although the grass may in fact be greener on the other side, it also might really be Astroturf (as in fake) and any life truly worth living should have the most real form of you in the spotlight.  A fun read for all ages, it's great for a quick reminder that although life may not be everything you wish it was at the moment, things can and will change…but a little nudge from you along the way never hurt anything.

Special thanks to Ksenia at Feiwel and Friends for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, feel free to check out their website, blog or follow along on Twitter.  This book released a bit earlier this month so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  In the mean time…how’s bout a little contest…hmm?


Thanks to the wonderful publisher, I have the opportunity to offer you a chance to win a copy of this very title to call your own.  Who knows what dreams and ideas this book may spark for you?  Only one way to find out….here’s the scoop!

The prize:
(1) copy of The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor


How to enter:
TWO STEP PROCESS, but we’ll keep it simple.

FIRST…answer this question in the comments below…
If you could have any wish, dream, hope for your future to come true, what would it be? 
I don’t care if it seems silly, or like the grandest dream ever dreamt….just share your thoughts and BAM…step one is complete.

SECOND….fill out this FORM.
Quick, easy, painless…and you get a chance to win!
Simple, huh?



The rules: 
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only!  No P. O. Boxes please.
* Entries will be accepted from Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 through Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 at midnight CST.  The entries will be tallied and entered into the randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator.  (This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post.  You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
*The winner will be announced and contacted via email by Friday, March 11th, 2011 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.  Should they fail to respond in the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.  If you choose to include your full name and mailing address in your contest entry, no worries....the time frame issue is erased.
*Winner's name and address will be forwarded to Ksenia at Feiwel and Friends for prize send out only and then discarded.


So what are you waiting for?

Get your entry in and you’re one step closer to that winning limelight and a chance to read this great title.


Good luck!

Until next time…happy reading...


Stephanie said...

I wish I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

Juju at Tales of said...

Sounds way cute and different. I like that. So many books mirror each other ya know? Great review :)

(not an entry)

fredamans said...

My wish is that my son succeeds.

Mary Ellen said...

I hope that my children live happy and healthy lives.

Heavensent1 said...

I wish to always have enough food in my bank account so that I never ever go hungry again...heavensent1@yahoo dotcom

Cleverly Inked said...

What a unique type of read. I can see how it would be appealing. I could only imagine being that crazed after.

I was just watching a show about the life and times of the Beatles.

rhonda laney said...

good health being able to walk as long as i want. have energy. have no headaches and dailey pain

GMR said...

Great job guys! Remember...fill in the form and share whatever wish you would grant if given the chance. Life long dreams, talent required requests...the sky's the limit!

Stephanie: Not an uncommon lament. You're definitely not alone. ^_^

Juju: *nods* ^_^

fredamans: Great wish!

Mary Ellen: Another selfless parent. ^_^

Heavensent1: How very "gone with the wind" esque but also very practical!

Cleverly Inked: How ironic...don't ya think? ^_^

Rhonda Laney: All great wishes.

Mary said...

My wish for the future is to be surrounded by my children and my grandchildren.


Anonymous said...

Health, happiness and for the dreams of my family to be fulfilled.


Tara Johnson said...

My biggest wish of all time is for people, animals and all of life to no longer suffer. My e-mail is

Shooting Stars Mag said...

My big SELFISH wish is to become a published author and to have a nice career with that. My unselfish wish...or maybe just a to have my family be healthy, happy, and safe.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

GMR said...

Mary: A noble wish indeed....

Anonymous: Ah, how sweet.

Tara: Nice one...sad but true.

Shooting Stars Mag: Hey, selfish wishes are TOTALLY allowed! ^_^

Abhishek Duggal said...

World Peace!

Thanks for the opportunity!

forsurveysonly at gmail dot com

risanjax said...

No more poverty

Ms. Dawn said...

I am an educational assistant in a special education program in a public school system. If my dreams could come true I would wish to NOT be JUST an assistant, but to be a TEACHER of children with special needs. Of the 3 things I always insisted I would be as a child (a mom, a writer, a teacher). Being a teacher is the missing link! ;-)

Bri Meets Books said...

To just FINISH my book and have everything be ...right.

melydia said...

I wish I could become a professional cartoonist.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

To be fully happy and to have my best friend back in the same state as me. I get lonely without my best friend.

Stacy said...

My dream is to be accepted into a PhD program and get a teaching position at a University.

the imagine tree at aol dot com

Carina L. Tai said...

I'm a passionate tennis player, and even though it's far-fetched, my dream is to play tennis in the middle of the ocean. They have a court built in the water (it's in Dubai) that's right smack dab in the middle of the ocean!


Anonymous said...

not a lie...just ask my wish has always been to one day meet Paul McCartney!
i still have all of my old Beatles stuff....and still believe that if Paul met me first I'd still be his Mrs!!!
diane r

GMR said... guys have some fabulous dreams! Definitely soemthing to reach for.... ^_^

Abhishek: Well that's a given. ^_^

risanjax: Definitely.

Ms. Dawn: How wonderful! Sounds like you're on the right track. ^_^

Bri Meets Books: Oh that's not a dream...pfft....that's a reality, it's just taking a little time. ^_^

melydia: Cool. Sounds like fun.

Moirae: Aww.... {hugs}

Stacy: Nice...

Carina: That's the beauty of it. The sky's the limit on is the potential for them to come true. You never know.... ^_^

BookMarc Blogpants said...

I hate to sound shallow but my wish is to be rich.


Brenda said...

I would wish for my husband to get a fabulous job as I would be so happy with our life as would Tom if something would work out now. He is a controller and has impeccable references!

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda said...

I posted this to my blog:

dancealert at aold ot com

Lisa said...

I wish for all my children to find the things that make them happy and then pursue them in their work. I want them to wake up everyday thrilled with the idea of what could be ahead. I want them to fall in love for the rest of their lives and live happily ever after, I wish them love and happiness more then they can contain so it spills over to everyone they come in contact with.

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