“For The Record” by Charlotte Huang (2015)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Page Length: 307 pages (hardcover edition)
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t? (description from Goodreads)
For The Record is a fast-paced contemporary novel about life on the road in a band. The main protagonist, Chelsea, participates in a talent show similar to American Idol and though she doesn’t win the competition her musical talents are noticed by music executives. She soon gets the chance be the lead singer in a band called Melbourne and shoots to stardom at a very fast pace. She soon realizes how life on the road is not as easy as it looks and learns what it truly means to be a musician.
The book gives a pretty accurate view of a musician’s life behind the scenes. As we read along we learn firsthand about the ups and downs of a lifestyle that is constantly on-the-go. Chelsea and the rest of the band/crew are constantly traveling, they don’t really get to do that much sightseeing, there is not a lot of down time, and the living spaces are quite cramped. With all of these things combined it seems that this lifestyle is not very glamorous and because of all the conditions stated above sometimes drama ensues due to stress and lack of sleep. Despite all of the bad things, it still seems thrilling to be able to perform the songs you love before an audience that appreciates the music and to be able to interact with fans.
As for the characters, everyone was pretty likable except for the protagonist, Chelsea. I got so annoyed with her constant self-pity and how she virtually puts herself down almost all of the time. I understood that she was very insecure and that this was a completely new situation for her, but I sometimes I wish she had put a little more gusto into beliving in herself. I also felt that she jumped into a “relationship” with Lucas, the bad boy actor, way too fast. She had only met the guy once and instantly she was infatuated with him. I can’t stand insta-love in any book!
Looking at the story itself I felt that the plot was very predictable, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an enjoyable book. It’s a light, fun story that isn’t meant to be taken so seriously. My main critique of this book is that I wished there was more character development and that the plot had more substance.
A nice contemporary romance novel that is great for summer. It has it faults, but is still enjoyable.