Being considered “one of the guys” by Oliver, Trip, and Abe is fine with Charlotte, as she gives them the girl-perspective on life and keeping their band together behind the scenes. When a new guy joins the band and encourages her to grab the mike, their whole dynamic changes and Char isn’t sure if the guys can handle it.
She and Trip have been friends forever, but after he and lead singer Oliver have “creative differences” Trip leaves the band, and Sad Jackal must audition a new lead guitar player. Now who’s going to create all the melodies for Char’s lyrics?
Char has to deal with Trip’s sudden distance at school, her stepsisters’ giggle-pop taste in music at home, and weird vibrations at band practice, as new guitarist Fabian starts treating her like a girl. New lyrics just stream from her pen as her stepsister has a messy break-up, as other friendships ebb and flow… and Sad Jackal is hired to play at the school’s Halloween dance.
Trying to balance her commitment to the band with tough school classes, she agrees to be brilliant slacker Benji’s study buddy despite Trip’s dire warnings. As Halloween nears, Charlotte allows her stepsisters to give her beauty treatments and lets Fabian coax her into singing harmonies that turn into full-blown solos.
Does Fabian really see her as a girl instead of just another member of the band? Can Oliver deal with Charlotte taking the microphone or does he want her to stay out of his spotlight? What if her need to sing the stories she writes as lyrics is stronger than the band’s need for her to smooth out all the details for them? And why is Trip avoiding all her calls now, when she needs his viewpoints most of all?
Rooted in Atlanta’s alternative music scene, Charlotte struggles to decide if it’s time to stop just Being Friends With Boys and get going with her life in music and beyond.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com
Charlotte is just one of the guys--the boys in the band treat her just like she is their sister. She's the manager of Sad Jackal, an up and coming band that consists of two of her best friends Oliver and Trip. It's been a bad year for Charlotte--first her sister Jilly goes off the college leaving her with her two feuding step-sisters for entertainment, then her only female friend becomes besties with other girls, Trip quits the band and Oliver and Charlotte scramble to find a replacement for him.
Charlotte's not doing well in school either. She's barely scraping by in her classes and jumps at the chance to share notes with Benji--a guy who sits near her in class. Trip warns her to stay away from Benji, but of course, she doesn't listen. Even a girl who tries not to be entangled in romance sometimes doesn't escape it.
Charlotte finds herself strangely attracted to Benji, longing for things to be back to normal with her best friend Trip, and crushing on Oliver and new bandmate Fabian. Charlotte is a likeable character--though confused most of the time.
Girls who like romance and music will love this book. Many minor characters confuse the plot somewhat and the novel bogged down in the middle but picked up nicely at the end for the performance of a lifetime. The girl gets the guy and the guy who has been there all along ends up the winner. Recommended for romance collections grades 9-up. Mature situations, alcohol, partying.
Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA