Wednesday, 1 April 2009

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB APR - I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2008
Pages: 352
Format: paperback
Source: from publisher- Simon&Schuster

A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.

Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?

If I have to pick one word to describe this book, it'll definitely be awesome. It intrigued me in every single way - the plot, the characters, the music, the love - all of them was mixed together, so naturally that you'll hardly recognize it takes great skills to do such a thing.

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is not just a story about music. It's also about family, friendship, love, hopes, dreams. Basically, it's all about life - the one of a girl who grew up with ablaze passion for music and an inner desire to find her gone away mother through it. Emily Black is such a beautiful and raw character. Surly she had many wrong thoughts, she behaved badly and got herself involved things that I considered really terrible - sex, drugs, minor crimes - yet I didn't think of her as a bad one at all. Emily was just herself, she did what she did because it was part of the process of growing up. Although she was a tough girl who wouldn't be brought down by people's meanness, Emily was soft at some moments too. She always wondered if her mother left because of her, she was scared of opening her heart to anyone. That fact just made me love her even more. She was a person with strong and weak sides, with so many flaws that you could spot from very first impressions. And it was why her character was perfect.

Emily's life story was told parallelly with her mother Louisa's so it was really interesting. You would have a chance to find out everything about the poor woman in details - how she was during her teenage days, why she left the family, what she did to get on all alone. Her story gave me mixed feelings. Most of the time I sympathized her, but I was really mad sometimes because she was too cowardly to face reality and got over everything.

It would be such a big mistake not to mention the passion for music. It was fantastic. I was not a fan of rock or punk or whatever but after reading this book, I really really adored it. The meaningful lyrics would make you squeal inside, and it'd feel like really listening to the songs even without no sound. The ending was not an entirely happy one. But guess what? It satisfied me to bits and pieces. It was an open one, the kind that would leave readers with thoughts about life and hopes for the best for Emily.

It seems to me that Stephanie Kuehnert just sat there taking notes of everything that happened around her life and suddenly I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone was born because the book was extremely real. You really should get yourself a copy. It's a must read.

Rating: 5/5
it feels good to rate some book 5/5 : D


Liyana said...

This is such a thorough review. Thanks!

Sarah Laurence said...

Sound fun! I’m a fan of 80’s punk rock. You make me want to read this book.

Steph Su said...

Wow, 5 out of 5! I just got this. Really excited to read this.

Keri Mikulski said...

I was sucked into this book from page one when I read it last year. I agree. It's definitely 'real'. Awesome review! :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't really been interested in reading this before, but after reading your review, I may reconsider. ;)

Barrie said...

I already knew I wanted to read this book. Now I know I want to read it even more!

Sarahlynn said...


Sadako said...

Have heard really good things about this, and your review makes me want to read it even more! Kudos!

Tiqa Khairi said...

Great review, now I tempted to read this! :)

Would you be interested in a link exchange?

mine is --

Amanda said...

I STILL haven't read this one.
Great review!