Published by Delacorte Press on November 10th 2015
If Almost Famous were a YA novel . . . a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
Chelsea was voted off a popular American Idol type show at number nine. She figures she will go back to her old life, being shunned by everyone in high school, for her senior year. Then she gets the call every singer dreams about, she is asked to replace the lead singer in a very popular alternative group. She is to leave on an US tour for the summer and knows she has to nail this one if she really wants a career as a singer. The road to rockstardom is filled with a lot of angst and can be more treacherous than any high school clique back home.
As the tour starts, Chelsea finds that there is major drama within the band and why the lead singer actually quit. She adjusts to life on the road in a tour bus, has a fling with a teen movie star as he transistions into adult roles and finds that she is more mature than the adults that surround her. I really liked Chelsea and that she faces her fears. Even though things don’t work out in the end for the band, she finds that she is stronger than she thinks.
I really thought that Huang did an awesome job capturing life with a band on the road. The fictional band, Melbourne, came across as real and included little behind the scene about their history and how messed up some of those stories are. I would love to read more about Chelsea. Parents: this one is best suited for older teens since there are sexual situations, alcohol / drug mentions and soem language, but all keeping with the story.