THE BAND NEVER DANCES by J.D. Landis

THE BAND NEVER DANCES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rock dreams come true--in a turgid coming-of-age novel from the author of Daddy's Girl. Judy Valentine, 16, has but one ambition--to be a rock-and-roll drummer. Answering an ad, she meets Strobe, an intense, almost ghostly singer; together they form the nucleus of Wedding Night, soon the hottest band in the country. On tour, Judy catches the cobra-like attention of teen heartthrob Nick Praetorius and becomes an unwilling media celebrity as he courts her publicly. Simultaneously fascinated and repelled, she manages to resist his blandishments: no sex in this story, no drugs--just rock-and-roll. By the close, the band is still together, no one has died (though there's plenty of talk of "death and rebirth"), and Judy's come a little closer to understanding her parents. Unfortunately, however, it's a long, weary way to that point--what with lengthy song lyrics, tedious lists of magazine articles and concert dates, and bombastic conversation ("We have to rock. Rock is life"; "He can't love people who love him"). The story of Wedding Night's foundation and early days makes a strong, though not realistic, beginning (the band lands a record contract after its first Manhattan club date), but readers will bog clown in the detail and will find Nick and Judy's relationship too quirky to matter. Nowhere near the fine standard set by Gillian Cross's Chartbreaker.

Page count: 288pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
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