Genre: Young/New Adult Realistic Fiction
Release Date: September 16, 2014- TODAY!
Basic Summary Without Spoilers:
Shan is a young girl living on her in NYC in the early 1990s after a rough childhood. She's a brilliant guitar player who joins a promising rock band her roommates boyfriend is in, and is run by their talented keyboard player Quinn. After hearing her play a gig one night, and hearing her voice, Quinn begins to call her Angel. But there's a hitch - she's a drug addict.
Stories about musicians intrigue me. I don't read them very often, but whenever I do I'm always "I should read more books like this." Rock Angel was no exception. While I am not a rock girl by any means, and I don't play music for a living, I could still relate to parts of the story about how the music drives them, learning to play, improving their skills, writing music, etc. In a way, most artists of any kind would be able to connect. I may not write music, but I write stories, for example. Or even just the itch to want to play their instruments and learn more. When Shan was having the "joneses" for playing her guitar, I had to admit, I wanted to get my hands on my ukulele.
I had a rough time with all of the drug issues though. It's because I personally have zero experience with that type of lifestyle. I'm pretty sure the worst I've ever done, I had a slight headache because I drank just a tad too much. So... sometimes it's hard for me to understand the mindset. (Thanks D.A.R.E.! I'm the one kid you worked on!) However, once the characters are addicted I'm more understanding because if you're addicted you're addicted, it's a disease. It's the "why did you start in the first place" I always have issues with. These are all personal things though, and nothing to do with the quality of the writing. The author, Jeanne Bogino, did a wonderful job of making you love and sympathize with the characters. From my limited experience, she was able to portray drug addiction in an honest way and I definitely learned more about it. There were different issues which came up later in the book I had never considered before and it was interesting. I just can't help but wonder how someone who actually knows more about drug addiction would take this book. I'd love to hear their opinion so I would have a clearer idea of what it's like.
I loved these characters. Sometimes they drove me up a wall because Shan and Quinn are so stubborn and make awful choices! But they were real. Even through their mistakes I loved them and was rooting for them. I would have loved to get to know the other band members a bit better though. Shan and Quinn were the main characters, so most of the focus was on them. We also got to know Debbie, Shan's roommate. However, I would love to learn more about Dave, Dan, and Ty. Especially Ty - I felt as though he got the least amount of focus out of everyone in the band.
The Love Story
There was so much angst in the beginning! Between Shan's drug issues and Quinn's issues with commitment it drove me insane. I'll give Shan credit though - she was far more patient with him during that time period than I would have been.
There was a point where there were SO MANY sex scenes. I can understand an author putting a couple in here and there. But I felt as though there was a whole section of the book where it was scene after scene after scene and I was like "I GET IT!"
For a while I was very concerned with their relationship being too co-dependent, but as the story went on I was rooting for them 110%. They were real people, with real issues, who were trying to make it work. Just like the rest of us. Only they were rock stars.
I enjoyed this book a surprising amount. The very beginning hits you hard with the drug issues and I was worried I wouldn't get into the story because I wouldn't be able to relate or understand the characters mindsets. But, thankfully, I was wrong. The characters were real and I loved them, and I loved peeking into their rock star lifestyle and everything which goes into it. There were times I felt the story dragged on a bit and I wondered "where is this going?" but then it would pick back up and go on track again. I saw in the back of the book there was a sneak preview of the next one, Angel on High, and I hope I can read that one eventually as well.
I rated Rock Angel 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Note: I received a free eARC of Rock Angel through NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest reivew.