Friday, February 25, 2011
Novels about Teen Rockers: Handling Fame... or Just a Weird Situation
I’m a fan of American Idol. I love music and seeing talented young singers work toward their dreams. With the lowered age level this year—now fifteen—the contest has accepted a spate of very dewy-eyed talent. Last night the judges cut down to the final 24 kids, including some super-sweet little fifteen year-old prodigies. I keep thinking that these stories could translate well to novel form. What would it be like for someone that untested to be in the spotlight, enduring that type of pressure, day after day? Or for the kids who were cut, what do they go back to? Bands who may resent them for trying to sell out? I thought about various YA novels I’ve read or heard about that feature musicians. Orpheus Obsession by Dakota Lane is an offbeat story about a girl, obsessed with a young rocker. Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby is about a straight girl with a hippie musician dad who abandoned the family. When she falls for a wild indie musician her ambitious, clear-cut world is thrown into confusion. And Jon Skovron’s main character, Sammy in Struts & Frets is a struggling rocker trying to keep his band together long enough to win the battle of the bands.
After hearing that Mariah Carey and Beyoncé both sang for one of Gaddafi’s sons for a million dollars each, I envisioned a younger version of that scenario. How would a teen idol handle it if he or she was invited to participate in such a nefarious event? Or this: how will Miley Cyrus handle herself going forward, after being taped smoking from a bong and posing nearly naked? Have you come across any great YA novels featuring young musicians? Can you think of any musical scenarios you’d love to see played out in a story?