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The Victoria in My Head
Contributor(s): Milanes, Janelle
ISBN: 1481480898     ISBN-13: 9781481480895
Publisher: Simon Pulse
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Trapped by the motonony of her life, fifteen-year-old Victoria jumps at the chance to join a local rock band, a choice that forces her to confront her anxieties and embrace a world of uncertainty.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Rock groups; Fiction.
Musicians; Fiction.
Bands (Music); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016048819
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.50" (1.05 lbs) 389 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 June #4)

Victoria Cruz, 15, has always done everything she needs to do to maintain her high GPA. She runs cross-country and track, but only because Harvard wants well-rounded students, and Harvard is the only option, as far as her Cuban parents are concerned. But Victoria has an active dream life, one with carefully curated playlists for everything she's never done ("There's a playlist for skinny-dipping, for sleeping under the stars"). Music is her secret passion, one she refuses to indulge until she meets 17-year-old Strand as he's posting a notice seeking a lead singer for his band. With a nudge from her best friend, Victoria auditions for the band, and her boringly predictable life takes a dramatic turn. Milanes's brisk and confident debut is ideal romantic reading. Though the plot is fairly typical, a robust supporting cast brings color and charm to a world that Victoria sees as all too ordinary, from bad boy Strand with his piercing blue eyes to almost-too-perfect bandmate Levi to Victoria's strict but loving immigrant parents. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

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

Gr 9 Up—Victoria Cruz's parents expect her to go to Harvard. She attends prestigious Evanston Academy to study hard and score a scholarship. Her life is all laid out, a trail of future glory; at least, according to her hardworking Cuban immigrant parents. She appears to comply with overachieving expectations until she decides to join a band. She quickly overcomes stage fright and social reticence to become lead singer, and to date first one of two male band members and then the other. Herein lies a weakness of the book. Victoria's self-esteem centers around these boys and what they think of her. While dating the band's ultra-nerd, Levi, Victoria feels lost without his affirmation. It takes a while to realize that her heart actually belongs to gorgeous girl-magnet, Strand. Despite Strand's tendency to be a player, his character provides one of the book's strongest appeals. Teens will be charmed by his slick humor and by the depth of his character. Readers will laugh out loud at the witty repartee between Victoria and Strand, and the romance will draw in those looking for a sweet love story. Each chapter heading is a song title, creating an automatic playlist. Another positive plot element involves Victoria's increasing appreciation for her family's Cuban heritage, although its handling stays at surface level. VERDICT Fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park will appreciate this slightly off-kilter romance and its ready-made playlist.—Melissa Williams, Berwick Academy, ME

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.