Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Review: June of Rock - Elisa Ludwig
Extent: ebook (214 KB)
Publisher: Self Published (KDP)
Pub Date: 21st July 2011
Fresh out of 10th grade and freshly dumped by her dreamboat music nerd boyfriend Micah, June Dixon is headed to Camp Decibelle for the summer. The girls-only rock camp sounds like the perfect destination for a budding drummer with a respectfully punk attitude — except for the “girls-only” part. Once at Decibelle, June is thrown in among her fellow campers, a hodgepodge of indie wannabes, aggro-folkheads and metal sleazoids. All of them are aiming for superstardom, starting with the camp’s Battle of the Axes competition. Learning to keep a beat and start a band is tough enough but June must also contend with the dueling egos (and rhythms) of her bossy bandmate Jess, Jess’s disgruntled best friend from home M3, and a bitchy drummer whose rumored uncle is June’s hero, legendary songwriter Lee Rooney. And then there’s the puzzling case of Brice Mills, the famous-in-his-own-right counselor who’s supposed to be coaching June’s band but seems to have taken an unusual interest in June herself. Sassy, fun and packed full of pop culture references, June of Rock is a love letter to both girl power and the power of music.
I’ve got two words for this book: rock on!
I knew I’d have an affinity with this book when I started reading it as I was a teen girl drummer, just like June, and always found myself torn between being ultra cool and ultra weird. Having read June of Rock, however, I now really want to pick up my sticks again! June has such a wonderful, strong voice and is the perfect heroine with plenty of flaws but you love her anyway. She starts the book in a pretty bad way and throughout the story makes some pretty stupid choices but you still end up cheering her on because actually she’s really likeable and has a magnetic rock attitude that is sadly lacking from the many swooning teen heroines of today.
It is so refreshing to read a book about music and there is such a passion for it that comes across to the reader. I have increased my vocabulary by at least 200 words and know more about rock music now than I could ever be bothered to find out before. I’ve also learnt a heck of a lot about rockers themselves and I think that’s what I really like about this book. Elisa Ludwig sets out to prove that rockers are not just scary, society-hating people with experimental hair, they are exactly the same as any other music-lover in their passion for music, and it’s a real attribute to their personalities. June goes from being almost emo at the start of the book – resentful and distrustful of people and often aggressive – to a true rock star – learning what it means to be in a band, to get along with people and thrive on artistic differences. Once June lets go of the fact that people don’t have to be exactly the same as her to be her friend and embraces the multiple personalities that you find in a rock band, only then does she hit rock stardom. There’s such a wonderful sense of June thinking she knows exactly what she’s going to get out of Camp Decibelle but she comes away almost enlightened, dropping all the superficial desires of walking out on stage as part of the greatest rock band in history and instead finding the heart of rock.
Refreshing is definitely the word for this book and Elisa Ludwig has created an incredibly authentic journey through rock as well as an incredibly authentic journey through life. I’ve experienced firsthand the excitement and anxiety of going to music camps, all the challenges and transitions that you go through as a person, so I can definitely vouch for the realism of June of Rock. It was so good to go through all that again with such a great character and I really hope this is not the last I’ll read from Elisa Ludwig.