Review: Rock Star Superstar by Blake Nelson

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Reviews
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This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.


When I came on board at West of Mars, Susan handed me a stack of books she’d read but never reviewed. She’d warned me they’d be coming, and I told her I’d do them. I just never said when.

Hindsight is everything it’s supposed to be. Especially because I dropped into the downtown library when I was between meetings and found Rock Star Superstar in the young adult room.

Okay, fine. I was only in there to find some Rock Fiction. Young Adult usually has really good stuff.

Yeah, I’m dropping clues like a tree in October. Because you know what? I hated this book.

First off, for a book with a copyright of 2004, it’s awfully dated. References to Molly Ringwald, pay phones, MTV playing music, and Discmans? I actually had to ask what a Discman was, which left Susan shaking her head at me and calling me a baby. Then she chased me around and tried to pinch my cheeks.

Man, after that, I went home and hugged my dad and told him he was the greatest. He asked if he needed to send me to rehab.


Back to the book. I’m still trying to figure out what it’s about. This kid named Pete, whose dad is a drunk who Pete worships for having a musician’s past, drifts through life. He says he wants to make it as a star, but it’s not something he works real hard at. He pretty much waits for things to happen to him.

And then there’s his girlfriend. Same thing.

Really, this kid has no drive or ambition. He waits for things to happen. This means there’s nothing in this story that keeps me sitting on the edge of my chair, turning the pages as fast as I can. If I hadn’t wanted to get to the end just because I’m writing a review, I’d have set this one down pretty early on. The short, choppy sentences that make Pete sound like an idiot don’t help.

I’ve read a bunch of the hot YA stuff; I’m no stranger to that room in the library. And guess what? Those books are so damn good because they treat their readers like they’ve got a clue. And a brain. And they are smart enough to handle a complex sentence, even if Pete isn’t.

One more peeve in this bummer of a book: so Pete’s girlfriend’s parents find out they’re having sex. We never find out how they learn this or even why Margaret is honest with them. C’mon, kids. There are some times in your life when your parents don’t want you to be honest. Sex is one of those times. Trust me on that one.

All we hear is that Margaret’s parents are peeved and they don’t want Margaret seeing Pete again. (What trendy names!) But then Pete and Margaret find a way and the whole issue falls away. Just like the rest of the storyline. It all drifts along, like a bottle on an ocean. Bad things happen in this little bubble where no one really gets hurt, and the good things are pretty much in that same insulated bubble. It turns into a yawner of a book.

You can thank me for sparing you the time with this one when you see me.

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