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Songs About a Girl
Contributor(s): Russell, Chris
ISBN: 1250095166     ISBN-13: 9781250095169
Publisher: Flatiron Books
    OUR PRICE: $9.89  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: May 2017
Annotation: Accepting a job taking band photos for a former classmate, aspiring photographer Charlie Bloom is surprised when the unexpectedly popular band catapults her into the world of fandom and paparazzi before a love triangle, a creative rivalry and a personal secret threaten her prospects. Original. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Boy bands; Fiction.
Photographers; Fiction.
Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017021344
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 5.75" W x 1.00" (0.70 lbs) 362 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 April #1)

After being approached by the massively popular boy band Fire&Lights, 16-year-old Charlie Bloom reluctantly becomes their backstage photographer. Promised anonymity, Charlie begins to bond with the young band members, who recently catapulted to fame after winning a TV competition, and is drawn into their charm and genuineness. When the band drops a new single, a shaken Charlie realizes that the lyrics mirror those inked in her mother's journal, written years before the car accident that ended her life. As Charlie develops relationships with two vocalists, kindhearted Olly and damaged Gabriel, she attempts to unravel the mystery of her mother's veiled past and connection to Fire&Lights. Confronting the fickleness of fame and the damaging effects of rumors and harassment, Russell's debut is highly relevant in an age of social media furors and the constant churn of news. Charlie's burgeoning interest in two very different partners highlights the complexities of attraction, but her relationships with women—including her best friend, late mother, and the school bully—are perhaps the most compelling. Russell concludes with many questions unresolved; readers will be eager for the story's continuation. Ages 12–up. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 May)

Gr 9 Up—Aspiring photographer Charlie Bloom is surprised to receive a Facebook message from Olly Samson, formerly a student at her school and currently part of the biggest boy band in Britain, asking her to take some backstage photos of his band, Fire&Lights. Her first impulse is to say no, but with some prodding from her best friend, Melissa, a huge Fire&Lights fan, the shy teen accepts the offer and both enjoys and excels at it. Musician and debut YA author Russell manages to make all of this plausible, a testament to his well-written book, which is elevated beyond simple wish-fulfillment fiction. He also weaves in an intriguing mystery surrounding the band's lyrics, penned by aloof front man Gabriel, which bear striking similarity to the poems in Charlie's deceased mother's diary. Fans of novels about bands and music will appreciate the look at life on the road with Fire&Lights, a group with parallels to One Direction, and understand Charlie's dilemma in choosing between Olly and Gabriel when both like her. Russell does well in capturing the point of view of a 16-year-old girl, also exploring Charlie's strained relationship with her father and the harassment she receives from the band's jealous fans. The ending will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next title in this planned trilogy. VERDICT This recommended, thoroughly delightful book is a great fit for readers of novels such as Charlotte Huang's For the Record and has broad appeal for a wide audience of contemporary YA fans.—Amanda Mastrull, Library Journal

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.