Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 1, 2005
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
417 Pages

Written in her wonderfully honest, edgy, passionate and often hilarious voice, Tiffanie DeBartolo tells the story of Eliza Caelum, a young music journalist, and Paul Hudson, a talented songwriter and lead singer of the band Bananafish. Eliza's reverence for rock is equaled only by Paul's, and the two fall wildly in love.

When Bananafish is signed by a big corporate label, and Paul is on his way to becoming a major rock star, Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision that leads to Paul's sudden disappearance and a surprise knock-your-socks-off ending.

Well, it took me almost three months to finally write this review, but it seriously took me that long to figure out what I thought about it. How to Kill a Rock Star came so highly recommended to me that it was one that I ended up looking forward to reading a little too much. Maybe my expectations were too high going in. Maybe this just wasn’t the book for me. 

How to Kill a Rock Star is the story of Eliza and Paul. Eliza comes to New York looking for greener pastures. Her brother lives there and he sets her up living in an apartment with his bandmate, Paul. As you’ve probably guessed, Paul and Eliza fall into this epic love – epic, angst ridden love – with more problems than your average soap opera. In the midst of all their drama, Paul’s band, Bannafish, gets signed to a major record label propelling him into instant fame. 

What I liked:

-The writing. DeBartolo has a very smooth, lyrical style of writing. The imagery was just beautiful and the way she wrote New York in the 90’s was very much alive. You could almost reach out and touch it. Just superb. 

-Paul in the first half of the book. He was free-spirited and so alive when it came to his music. His passion bled through each page like a papercut. I instantly fell hard for this t-shirt folder from the Gap.

-Loring. Ah, sweet little Loring. Here’s a man who wore his heart on his sleeve. He was a musician, but he was also a father, a musician’s son, and a man who fell in love with the wrong girl. There were times where I wanted him to stop being such a pushover and really stand up to both Eliza and Paul, but it really just wasn’t in his nature.

What I didn’t like:

-Paul in the last half of the book. His passion became obsession and his love became dependent. 

-Eliza. She started out as a strong-willed character and grew into this selfish, co-dependent person who used people like it was nothing. The way she treated Loring was disgusting. She didn’t want to hurt Paul but didn’t care how much she hurt Loring. Eliza, you are officially a horrible person.

-The ending. I don’t believe it had a “knock your socks off” ending like the blurb says. I believe it had the potential but it copped out and I ended up feeling jipped. 

So many people loved this book and I can see why. But the way it ended really didn’t sit with me right and changed my feelings on the book as a whole. Would I recommend it? Maybe, depends on the person. 

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