Thursday, 6 May 2010

Review - Audrey, Wait! / Robin Benway


California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, "Audrey, Wait!," a break-up song that's so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is. Penguin

Review - This is the debut novel from Robin Benway and I think she really hit the pool with a huge bombs-away. I loved how much life, vitality and kick-ass attitude is embedded in this book. I felt like I was chatting with a girlfriend as it was honestly, a really sparky (for lack of a better word)read.

The protagonist, Audrey, is the girl I would love to have been in high school, or even now. She is fiery, confident and a possesses a somewhat scary need to collage her bedroom walls. Unlike many protagonists, she actually has functional relationships with family and friends and is secure in herself. That is until she breaks up with her boyfriend, Evan, who then writes a stellar song about her treatment of him, which then results in the band being signed and the song becoming an international hit.

The novel shows the affect this large scale popularity, fame and celebrity status has upon your identity, the people you love and your privacy. Benway's careful to depict the perks (of which Audrey's BF is quick to seize) and the costs of such attention. It hurts to see this character, who wants nothing of the fame, to repeatedly fall victim to circumstances she has no control over. The positive and negative attention received has quite a corrosive affect on her life but throughout Benway's portrays Audrey as someone sticking to her guns and keeping a firm grip on who she wants to be, rather than the unflattering and unfair portrayal in the song. It's always great to see a strong female protagonist and this one was more likable than most. I would like her as a friend to make me awesome mixed CDs.

The supporting characters are divine. The friendship between Audrey and Victoria has the histrionics, humour and shorthand that a true camaraderie would possess. You can definitely feel the love that the author has for this BF and I was not surprised to hear that Benway based Victoria upon her own BF, Adriana.

I found that I really related to the character of James, Audrey's co-worker at Scooper Dooper and potential love interest. There is a dearth of red headed leading men in literature; I am glad that Benway has stepped into the breach and made an attempt to fix this. I liked that Audrey's interactions with him were characterised by their quietness and compatibility, rather than miscommunications and blow ups. Most of all, I liked that her parents, though a little out of the loop, weren't depicted as stereotypical, demon parents.

This novel was an exceptionally quick read for me. The pace is smooth and event filled with great characters (none of which are cliched) that you are really rooting for. The themes of love, friendship, celebrity and identity are strongly represented and Benway write with an enthusiastic sometimes bent way of seeing the world that is entertaining and a little intoxicating. I will definitely be checking out this author's sophomoric effort!

Published: April 10 2008
Format: Paperback , 320 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: purchased
Origin: USA

14 comments:

Lori said...

Great review!! I really loved this book too!

Donna Gambale said...

I loved this book too! It was so so much fun. I got an ARC of Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, and that was also an entertaining read, though less sparky than Audrey, Wait! because of the subject matter. :)

Old school librarian said...

I loved this book also. Like you I was impressed with Audrey's relationships with her family and friends and I found it lol funny in spots.

Liz

Ruby said...

Loved this book. Look forward to reading this author in the future eh...

Steph Su said...

One of my favorite books. It never gets old with each rereading. Unfortunately I wasn't as impressed with her second book... *sigh*

LovesSam said...

I hands down love this book so much. I loved how it really exlored how obsessed everyone is becoming with celebrity and how fickle some fame seekers truly are. And yes, I would have to agree that her parents are a welcome change to what we've been seeing recently, because I love strong parent relationships. Oh! this has made me want to re-read it now and I gave my copy to Jenny :-) Fab review as always Adele

The Library Lurker said...

I love this book, it's so cute! Great review!

Robby said...

Loved this book. Love her new book. Love her in general.
"Love love love..."
Lady Gaga, get out of my head.

80808waldod_brogden said...

happy to read~ thank you!........................................

展惟定姍 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」..................................................

BookChic said...

Great, thoughtful review! I loved this book too- so funny but with some wonderful depth to it. I have her second book in my TBR pile and I can't wait to read it.

Aimee said...

Thanks for the review - a friend's sending me a copy from the States - can't wait to get my mitts on it!

Michelle said...

This is one of those books that I wish more people knew about because I enjoyed it so dang much. The humor especially. Thanks for the great review!

kanishk said...

Great review!! I really loved this book too!
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