Stella, a Chinese-Canadian rock drummer, yearns for success for her band.
Sixteen-year-old Stella needs a lead singer and finds a major talent in Tamara when rival band Fantalicious dumps her because she’s not skinny enough. Tamara believes she can never project the right image for a popular singer, but when she sings, she loses herself completely in her music, making a solid impression on Stella. Tamara agrees to join Stella’s hard-edged rock band but fears that their style will keep them out of the upcoming festival. She’s sure that the cutesy, pop-oriented Fantalicious will wind up headlining, and Tamara wants to beat them. The two girls become fast friends, and the group starts to create some outstanding original songs, but divergent artistic goals threaten a schism. Meanwhile the band begins to attract attention around their small town, especially that of a key tastemaker. Prendergast displays excellent insight into what makes young artists tick in this short novella. Characterization is deftly done: Stella has an attractively rebellious edge to her personality, and Tamara’s character grows naturally in confidence.
Punchy, insightful and great for music lovers. (Fiction. 11-18)