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!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.
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
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