Can you imagine reaching the heights of fame, fortune, and notoriety that your greatest musical (or otherwise) idol has?
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.
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.
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….
- 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?
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.