ROAD RASH by Mark Huntley Parsons


Age Range: 14 - 17
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Dumped by his band, Zach faces the prospect of the summer before senior year’s being the dullest of his life, forced by his parents to work a “real” job. Things turn around when Bad Habit picks him up as their new drummer right before their first tour.

Zach quickly learns that being in a touring band is itself a job, schooling him in compromise, management and professionalism. However, the moments on stage make up for the drama and boredom between gigs. Driving from town to town, Zach wonders what is going on between him and girl-back-home Kimber, as their emails seem to be taking their friendship into new territory. He also discovers that his band mates have hidden talents that could elevate them to the next level, but he manages to set off one ego-bomb after another as he tries to challenge them creatively. The predictable yet believable mix of personalities—self-absorbed lead singer, goofy bass player, token girl on keyboard and the talented-but-serious guitar player—works well despite some awkward language and clichéd scenes. When the band takes the stage, the music references and technical details are presented with such enthusiasm that readers will find their heads nodding and toes tapping as though they were in the crowd.

A road-trip adventure in romance and friendship that is ultimately all about the music. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-385-75342-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2013


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