I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
(MTV Books, $13.00)
Emily Black has always loved music, especially punk music. She won't admit it but it's because of the legend of her mother, Louisa. Her mom abandoned her when she was a little girl because, as her dad tells it, Louisa just wanted to follow the music. Emily starts her own punk band and, as her band's success grows, she wonders if she'll ever find her mom.
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is full of music references and teenage angst. Emily is frustrated by her life in a small town and is yearning to connect to the mother she never knew. I admired Emily's raw feelings and cheered her on at the beginning of the book. Kuehnert's writing was easy to get caught up in, like a catchy tune. The reason I'm only giving it two stars though is because it really fell apart for me near the end. The whole book is really about Emily's search for her mom, whether she's admitting it to herself or not. Without giving anything away, I didn't feel that the end of the book did justice to Emily's search. It was rushed and way too coincidental. There was also another incident involving initials painted in a dresser drawer that was also unbelievable (and slightly cheesy) for me. I could have forgiven the initials though if the ending had been more powerful.
Who would like this book: anyone who likes music or stories about single-parent families. Emily's dad is an interesting role model, in a good way.
Have any of you ever had a problem with too much coincidence in a book?