I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.
The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I iz disappoint.
I loved loved loved the angsty “ballads” she had for each of her characters in Ballads of Suburbia, where each person had a depressing/angst-y/dramatic story to share. The angst in this one though just came from one person, so it’s the same thing that had me feeling overloaded. So, if in BALLADS, the angsty/depressing stories were spread out (thus manageable for me,) this one really felt over the top.
The title "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" had me expecting Emily Black to be mostly music less drama. It had me thinking punk girl, maybe strong, maybe independent. One going her own way. As it stands, it’s mostly about a scared girl who’s dissatisfied with where she’s at (a Podunk town as it is repeatedly referred to) despite having an awesome dad and a sometimes awesome best friend.
This Emily Black that I got, I didn’t like. The only time her story truly gelled with me was when she was deciding to do something instead of being swept along by her emotions/hormones. Although I also liked it when she talked about her music, clearly there’s a passion there. It’s her dedication to her “art” when I felt I could like her. Off stage was another matter completely: I simply didn’t like her. She had most things going for her after all. It’s was one questionable decision after another that mucked things up. Well, that and her pining for someone not there.
Then if we layer on the drama added by her mother’s point of view, well = Drama overload. I must confess though I bought more of Louisa’s drama than her daughter’s. Louisa’s recurring nightmare in particular, then her eventual choice
The same things that I loved in her Ballads of Suburbia were present in this one except I didn’t love it as much. Too much angst. Too much immaturity. Too many questionable decisions by most parties involved.
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