While I was working on marketing or some such book-related task, an ad on Front Row‘s sale page caught my eye. The cover was bright yellow (now people who know me realize why it caught my eye) with a guitar and the raised arms of excited audience members at a concert.
I LOVE this cover.
I contacted Sydney Faith, the author, and also the host of The Sassy Sister Show on Youtube, which has almost 44,000 subscribers! Get it, girl! By the way, I just checked out their channel to add the link, and my daughters would love this. I have to show it to them. Anyway, I told Sydney about Front Row and sent her a copy, and she sent me a copy of The All-Stars to check out.
The All-Stars is the story of normal teenager Ro meeting her little sister’s favorite band and eventually becoming a member of said band. Of course, teens being teens, high-jinks ensue in the meantime. The book is told in first-person, switching between the POV of Ro, members of the band, and the evil Lindsay. At first, I thought Lindsay was a typical mean girl, but the author nailed the crazy fan aspect in her too, which I enjoyed. Who among us crazy fans have not thought we would marry our favorite musician one day? I was certainly guilty of that. Not that I was ever that crazy and creepy.
Sydney mentions on her Amazon page that she wrote this book when she was fifteen, revised it, and decided to publish before she turned 18. She admits, “this book would never be perfect, I’m sure I have missed a small plot hole or two, but I feel like I owe it to my fifteen-year-old self to show people what she did.” And I totally, 100% get that.
I saw so much of my past teenage self in this book. This story reads like fan fiction, which is not a criticism. While there are quite a few characters, throughout the story, we get to know each of the band mates and their distinct personalities. It’s easy to grow to like excitable, giggly Chloe, protective big brother Logan, and dreamy but misunderstood heartthrob Dylan. And if you do get lost, Sydney has their bios listed on her website.
I enjoyed the flirtation between Ro and Dylan (and other characters, no spoilers) as the story built up, but I do wish Ro joined the band earlier in the book. I would’ve liked to see how her position in the band evolved as they toured. Maybe in the sequel? The last third of the book was my favorite. Having said that, the story did keep me interested the whole time, wondering what was going to happen next and how things were going to resolve themselves.
Do any bands really do the “First Fans” thing? If they don’t, they should. You’ll have to read the book to know what I mean, but I thought it was a cool idea.
Overall, this was a fun read, especially for a teen and pre-teen audience. I would give this book 3.5 stars, rounding up to a 4.
Be sure to check out Sydney Faith’s website, too. It’s very well done, and she even has All-Stars merch! How cool is that?
Here’s the book trailer for your viewing pleasure: