Title: So Punk Rock (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother)
Author: Micol Ostow
Summary: Ari is a high achieving sophomore at Gittleman High, a Jewish school. He gets almost-perfect grades and isn’t very popular, with parents who are strict and focused on academics (not unlike my own parents) and a little brother who is their parent’s angel, making Ari look bad. If his parents find out that he plays in a band, they would kill him. He has the mind of a righteous teenager and is in fact the best friend of the smoothest kid in school, Jonas. He also has to deal with a forlorn crush on Sari Horowitz. But Ari has a plan to change his social standing: He will start a rock band.
By picking up members from unexpected places, Ari manages to get a band together. They play an opening to a bar mitzvah and instantly gain fans at school, and to Ari’s delight, the attention of Sari. This band of wannabes gets a few gigs and outside fans, but it can it really last? As his parents’ disapproval becomes apparent and social drama and confusion ensues, Ari struggles to keep the band together by tiny threads that may not even exist.
Who will like this book?: Ostow has captured the essence of a classic high school band. Complete with the ups and downs, readers who have survived high school will see a bit of themselves in this book. This drama-filled novel is sure to keep you flipping pages, and is a very good read for anyone who is or has ever been a teenager or likes punk or rock music. It shows how some people follow their dreams towards the first steps of rock stardom, and how easily it can go all wrong.
Recommended by: Ben, Fairfield resident and avid reader