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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz




This book is a true music-lovers read. Overflowing with album and song recommendations, any lover of classic sound will eat it up, but any fan of YA lit should like it as well. It's a book you can really rock out to, literally, since it had killer song suggestions. Here's a summary:

It's summertime in Berkeley, California, and 16-year-old Allie is spending it exactly how she wants to: working at Bob & Bob Records on Telegraph Avenue. It's the perfect job for her, since she gets to spend her day surrounded by the thing she loves most in the world: vinyl records. And she's devoted to preserving vinyl music from being killed off by 21st century ways like iPods and online downloading. So she decides to start a blog devoted to classic music and takes on her new online alias: The Vinyl Princess. After all, she can't be the only one out there who prefers LPs to iPod nanos, right?

But big changes are headed her way. Her separated parents are both trying to make new lives for themselves. Her mom's trying to get back in the dating game, and her dad is trying to start a family with a way-younger woman. Her best friend Kit is still obsessing over her ex who cheated on her, and often it's up to Allie to console her. A mysterious yet attractive stranger has caught her eye, a guy who Allie can't help but daydream about. And a string of robberies is shaking Telegraph Avenue, and who knows if Bob & Bob Records will be next? One thing is for sure: it will be a summer like no other.


I will say, I really liked it. Allie is a cool, street smart kid who really knows her music, and it's fun watching her blog become more and more popular. She serves as narrator for the story, and had a refreshingly real voice. I got a sense of her world right away, her and her mom's clutter-filled house made a great setting. Her BFF Kit kind of annoyed me though, because she spends the entire story dwelling on the one guy who did her wrong, though she gets over him, eventually. Her dad was kind of a let down too, they don't have the best relationship ever since he moved in with that twenty-something.

And then there was that mysterious guy who dominated Allie's thoughts, which was a let down because there was another totally nice, LP-obsessed guy right in front of her. I thought it was sweet how he eventually won her over with a mix CD. (The dork beats the bad boy, yes!)

And as a blogger myself, I liked reading about how her blog expanded. The Vinyl Princess' rise to fame really rocked.

The whole Telegraph Avenue robbery thing was kind of obnoxious, since it was so easy figuring out which characters were the thieves. But whatever, it added some action to the tale.

I also mentioned earlier how music lovers will enjoy the novel since Allie describes her favorite music passionately. I might go and look up some of songs she said were great, because hey, I'm always up for new music.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
A totally cool novel about the ultimate music insider. Good story, good soundtrack.
4/5 stars

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