Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad by Naomi Rabinowitz
Goodreads Summary-Shy, overweight Melinda Rhodes' sophomore year of high school isn't going so well. Her own mother mocks her weight. Her pants split in the middle of school, earning her the nickname, "Moolinda." She then loses first chair flute in band to Kathy Meadows, her pretty and popular nemesis.
Her luck changes when she catches the eye of Josh Kowalski, a rebellious trumpet prodigy and class clown. Josh has also been hurt by Kathy and asks Melinda to help take Kathy down. Mel figures that she has nothing to lose ... and Josh is adorable with gorgeous blue eyes and a winning smile. She agrees to team up with him and looks forward to finally getting back at her rival.At first, the pair's pranks are silly, and as they work together, Mel comes out of her shell. Even better, she finds herself falling for Josh and it appears as if he might feel the same way about her.
However, their schemes become more and more dangerous and Mel is surprised to discover her dark side. Just how far will she go to get what she wants -- and is Josh really worth the risk?
Thanks to Goddess Fish Tours and Naomi Rabinowitz I am reviewing the contemporary YA Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad. If you'd like to follow the tour you can do so here. Naomi will be awarding a prize package of her Flute Path CD and a pair of handcrafted music earrings to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
So here's my take on the novel- it was a really cute contemporary YA romance. Mel is having a hard time with her peers and her mother. She's having a really hard time with mean girl Kathy who is vying for first chair in the band, Mel's spot. She has only one friend, Lana who has been her best friend since first grade. But for some reason, class clown and very cute and popular, Josh is trying to catch her eye in band. What does he want? Why would he be looking at her? I mean she split her pants on the first day of school and everyone saw her granny panties and made her a laughing stock. But Josh, who's never talked to her before becomes her knight in shining armor. And she doesn't know for sure, but when they team up together to get revenge on Kathy, she thinks he might like her.
I liked Mel. At first she was so unsure of herself and full of hate, self hatred really, but bitterness, too. Things are bad. Her parents are never home and when her mom is home she does nothing but criticize Mel about her weight. Honestly, Mel wears a size 12 and even goes down to a 10 and her mother still is very critical. I see this as a bit dangerous for high school girls. It never says how tall Mel is but the mother's criticism of a girl that wears a size 10 seems like it's sending the wrong message about weight and teenage girls and body image. The issue was eventually dropped but body image did come up again. It was one issue that I think probably wasn't completely wrapped up suitably. But moving on, Mel goes from this bitter, self loathing, quiet person to an out going, self assured person who knows how to take on the bullies and mean girls all by herself. She is strong enough and confident enough to make tough decisions even though they may break her heart.
Josh is the class clown, but he lives a charmed life. He seems to, just by the skin of his teeth, get away with everything. And he's interested in Mel. Not just Mel, but in helping her get her first chair back, get revenge on the girl who took it, and show Mel how to live. He teaches her all about how to live her music, not just to play it in band. He teaches her to play in clubs, freestyle, just making it up as she goes along. He has constant surprises for her always, but always keeps her, and us, guessing as to whether he likes her or not. When Mel is ready to grow up, Josh is still in the cycle of playing pranks on the mean girl.
There are a lot of ups and downs in friendships, love lives, parent child relationships and even student teacher relationships. It's about growing up, and life lessons and love. It's a fun book to read. I did have a problem with the way the mom picked on the daughter's weight when she didn't sound that overweight. It seemed more like the mom's problem. I think it could have been just as effective if the mom picked on her grades, her hair, her clothes, anything else to show that it was more the mom's problem than the daughter's. But, this didn't permeate through my mind as I read the novel. It really was a funny and touching book to read. I wouldn't have minded a boyfriend like Josh who cared so much about me! I recommend it to lovers of YA contemporary novels that are mainly romance and coming of age.
Thanks again to Goddess Fish Tours and Naomi Rabinowitz for the complimentary copy of the novel. This in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed are my own.
(Danny this one has your name written all over it!)
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