Saturday, November 22, 2008
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
Kuehnert, Stephanie. 2008. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.
Altars. Saviors. Rock'n'roll. I braved my fear of spiders, dust plumes as thick as L.A. smog, and the stench of dog piss that the last owner of the house had let permeate the basement to tirelessly search my father's record collection for my next holy grail.
I liked this one. It was well written. Stephanie Kuehnert has a way with words, and she can spin a good story. No doubt about it. For those that love music--particularly punk--and angst will find much to delight them in I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. Emily, our heroine, is a girl rocker with a band. Emily's choices aren't always wise. Often they're just the opposite. And she has to learn things the hard way. But through it all, I found myself liking her...flaws and all.
Emily has abandonment issues and justly so. Her mother abandoned her and her dad when she was just a few months old. Her parents had notoriously left Carlisle, Wisconsin, in 1974. But after she left, he decides to return--much to the dismay and delight of some of the residents. Emily's best friend is the daughter of her mother's best friend. Regan and Emily are inseparable. (Regan's part of the band as well.)
We get Emily's story, but we also get snippets of her mother's story. Both share certain similarities. Emily's story is sad and bittersweet in a way. As Emily chooses time and time again not to respect herself and her body. Her choices when it come to what men she lets in...are often all too regrettable.
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is an ambitious novel covering a great span of years--some of her childhood, all of her teen years, and even a little beyond when she's an adult. The plot revolves around her growing up and growing wise. Of course before she can do that, she has to hit rock bottom. She has to make all the wrong choices before she can start making the right ones. But even when Emily is down on her luck and spiraling out of control, you can't help but like her and want her to find happiness.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews