Monday 25 August 2014

Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata

Published: May 18 2014
Source: A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it's Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi's overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie--the long-time object of her unrequited love--and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they're quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.


This book follows the lives of four young girls, each trying to find their way in the world. First we meet Trudy, she is on her way to a detention centre for stealing a pair of sunglasses. It was her Mother who decided that that is where she would be going, rather than trying to deal with her on her own. Trudy has lead a very eventful life, her Mother always traipsing her away to somewhere new, or sometimes not taking her and leaving her in the foster care system as her Father was not allowed to have contact with her. It is not a wonder that Trudy developed the way she did with parents like that.

We then meet Harumi, she is what her parents like to brag a "child prodigy" when it comes to the violin, and she has given up everything that a normal child would have and go through to make her parents happy. She did enjoy the violin for a long time, then there was so much pressure on her, she didn't know how to handle it anymore.

Then we meet Cassie. She was in a car accident when she was young with her Mother, her Mother did not make it, but she did. She is trying to go out and date, however, none of the guys in high school interest her, so she is trying to branch out and find a new group of friends.

The last girl that we meet is Esther. She is a lesbian, however, she cannot tell anyone, especially her parents, her Dad says "homo" under his breath every time he sees a guy with an ear pierced, so she basically knows the way that they would react. 

Through a series of events, all these girls meet, and Trudy decides that they are going to start a band, and they get their name from her roommate who calls them "a bunch of screaming divas". This book covers some heavy subjects, drug abuse, sexual orientation and even death. 

Although it is at basic a story about a group of girls coming together to join a band, there was so much more to it than that. I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the pacing. I can't pick out a favourite character from this book, however, I think that the one I could relate to the most would be Esther, with her personality and just wanting to fit in.

I think that this was overall a good book, I give it a 4/5, and I read it in one sitting, so if you are looking for a quick read with some tough subjects brought up, this one is for you.

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