25 May 2016

Review: Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata

Hardcover, 205 pages
Published May 18th 2014 by Merit Press (first published December 19th 2011)

At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it's Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi's overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie--the long-time object of her unrequited love--and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they're quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.

I really liked the cool book cover and reading the blurb, I was immediately attracted to the story. I love music so found the idea of girls creating a band very interesting. The story is about four unusual 16-year-old girls starting a band together. Trudy, Cassie, Harumi and Esther call themselves the ‘Screaming Divas’. What brings them together is a passion for music. They also share the fact that they have difficult and tragic backgrounds. The main themes, apart from music of course, are drug addiction and teenage issues, such as relationship problems, struggles at school and self-confidence. It is a well-written book but I thought it was a bit slow at times. The story was also quite sad because something bad happens to one of the girls.Overall I found it a good and enjoyable read.

Review by mother and daughter duo, Helene & Shona Tiernan.
Both are avid readers of fiction, enjoying a wide range of topics. Helene is a former journalist, a trained yoga teacher and also enjoys putting pen to paper herself. Her daughter Shona is a 13-year-old teenager who sings, plays the violin, drums and is passionate about tap dancing and her little brother. Both love diving into different worlds through the eyes of an author. Originally from Belgium, they currently live in Portugal with their family.

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