KEEPING THE BEAT by Marie Powell


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Five London girls form a band and enter a trans-Atlantic reality show in an attempt to become rock stars.

The book opens with a murder, then chronicles the time leading up to that event. Lucy's parents have forbidden her to see her best friend, Harper, but now Harper needs Lucy's drumming talents for her new rock group, Crush. Harper assures Lucy, Robyn, Toni, and Iza that Crush will win. However, Harper has an ulterior motive: she wants to hook up with her old boyfriend, ne'er-do-well Rafe, son of an entertainment icon. They win one of the four top spots in the show and travel to live in LA, over the objections of Lucy's parents, where each girl falls into her own difficulty. Harper tries to outmaneuver her rival for Rafe, Skye, who's really in love with her family gardener. Robyn’s use of diet drugs leads to a serious addiction. Toni gets into a relationship with the group's married manager, threatening the entire enterprise. Iza falls in love with a boy perfect for her but is too shy to manage the romance well. Meanwhile, Lucy impresses the group's producer with her drumming skills but realizes that it's really up to her to hold the group together. The authors juggle the romances and their mostly white cast against a glamorous Hollywood backdrop, switching the third-person narration through the perspectives of the girls. As they move into the more serious murder mystery, the story begins to deepen somewhat—but never more than somewhat.

For fans of slow, soapy thrillers. (Thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 4th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-77138-730-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: KCP Loft/Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2017


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