I was walking around a book store idly and one book jumped out at me. This is quite often how I end up choosing books and weirdly I have rarely been disappointed.
This one was called ‘I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone’ by Stephanie Kuehnert. I’d never heard of her before but I was a huge Riot Grrrl back in the day and loved Sleater Kinney. This book is named after one of their songs.
The back of the book kept me interested, another good sign, if I can’t even get through the blurb on the back then what hope is there.
This book was about a young girl called Emily Black, her Dad plays guitar and she knew her Mom, Lousia, was heavily into music, but that’s about all she knew about her Mom, as her Mom took off when she was very young never to be heard from again.
Emily struggles with life like many of us do in our teenage years, she’s finding things she likes and grasping on to things she probably shouldn’t. Her Father cares for her and is doing the best he can but even years after his wife left he is still haunted by her, longing for her.
Emily forms a band and tries to act tough and indifferent to the effects her Mother leaving had on her.
She eventually has to admit that she is living her entire life based on trying to be her, or at least find her.
The characters are intensely believable. The description of the scene shows an author who lived it and hasn’t just dreamed it up. I felt like I knew Emily and felt for her as I journeyed with her on her emotional rollercoaster of a life. I laughed, I cringed and I felt for this girl, just like I would a friend.
Stephanie writes about the trials of a young girl trying to find herself and find her place in a predominantly male world of music with sensitivity and humour. She touches on real issues and turns this into a great coming of age rock n roll read.