Thursday, May 14, 2009
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
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?
When I read about Kuehnert's new book Ballads of Suburbia, which is coming out July 21 from MTV Books, I couldn't wait to read it. It also made me wonder why I hadn't read her first book. So, I went right out and bought it and I was most definitely not disappointed.
Emily Black's story is mesmerizing. As a girl who grew up in the grunge-filled nineties, I could totally relate to this story. I graduated from high school in 1993 and Emily's soundtrack is my own. Reading this book made me want to dig out all of my old CDs and immediately start jamming to them all over again. She brought this era to life like no one else I've ever read.
Punk and grunge is alive and well in Kuehnert's writing. She makes you feel the music the way that I imagine Emily would. Her writing is the voice of punk and I love it. This book is wonderfully written and incredibly moving. The stories of Emily and Louisa blend together so seamlessly to tell the story of two lost souls trying to find their way through life with music as their only guide.
I can't recommend this book highly enough, in fact, I already badgered my friend at work to read it. I think it speaks to not only us nineties kids, but to everyone who has ever dreamed of being a rock star, escaping their small town, or truly finding a place to call home.
It's an amazing book and now I'm even more pumped for Ballads of Suburbia. Can't wait to see what story this punk rock muse has to tell us next.