Meet Jay. Summer. And Dylan.
Jay plays guitar, writes songs and dreams of being a rock star. But his ambitions are stifled by seven siblings and a terrible drummer.
Summer works hard at school, looks after her nan and has a one-in-a-million singing voice. But can her talent triumph over her nerves?
Dylan is happiest lying on his bunk smoking, but his school rugby coach has other ideas, and Dylan reluctantly joins a band to avoid crunching tackles and icy mud.
They're about to enter the biggest battle of their lives. And there's everything to play for.
The blend of music and teenage drama, from a hyperactive classmate to boarding school troubles, from taking care of an ill grandmother to tackling seven siblings, made for a great story, leading up to a fantastic opportunity for all of them. The stories of the three protagonists were told with alternative perspectives, switching between the three of them, which built tension very effectively. Even though they were so far apart, spread across the country, their love of music united them before they even met.
Jay was pretty scrawny, especially compared to his much tougher older brothers (and even one of his younger brothers) but he was passionate about his music so when his band's drummer is not getting any better, he risks his friendships to find a new one. Jay was the typical middle child, although there were a lot of children either side! He was quiet, didn't like to make a fuss, but stood up for his family and his music. Summer was really sweet and I immediately fell for her and her tough life; parents gone and left to look after her ill grandma, Summer was reluctant to join a band, especially with little money and an annoyingly crazy band mate but you could tell it did her good. She starting standing up for herself, allowed herself to have a life of her own and even gained some really good friends in the process.
And finally Dylan; bit of a loser, lazy, bad attitude and all that, but once you get to know him, generally a good guy. He is his father's son and loves music so he jumps at the chance of joining a band to avoid rugby - cannot blame him for that! He uses his sweet-talking skills and knowledge of the music industry to help the band get a better sound and even manages to make friends in them.
Although I like music, the technical playing-an-instrument knowledge went over my head but I still fell so effortlessly into the world of the three of them, with all their little dramatics and difficulties. All three protagonists and their supporting characters were well built-up, from parents to band mates, and this was a great introduction to the series.
Published 27th February 2014 by Hodder Children's Books. Thank you the the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.