Friday, October 26, 2012

Being Friends With Boys, by Terra Elan McVoy (fiction) - "one of the guys" in the band or more?

book cover of Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy published by Simon Pulse
Being "one of the guys" is better than being ignored by former-best-friends...
Being unadorned is better than her stepsisters' cloud of perfume and makeup...
Being shut out by her best friend of all time is pain unbearable...

Charlotte has long been content to be the behind-the-scenes arranger-of-everything for the band, but when lead singer Oliver takes credit for all her lyrics, she starts to question the status quo.

Is it time for Char to break away from Sad Jackal like her best pal Trip did or should she stay and grab the spotlight for her own talents?

Dealing with insiders and outsiders,with people who've moved away and those who refuse to move on, with seeing past the surface to discover the truth, Charlotte's golden summer moves into cooler weather and changes in the band, its members, and her outlook.

While not a novel in verse as her earlier After the Kiss  (my no-spoiler review here) McVoy's newest book features true, realistic spoken and unsaid dialogue along with Charlotte's soul-baring lyrics. Find  both books at your local library or independent bookstore.

Book info: Being Friends With Boys / Terra Elan McVoy. Simon Pulse, 2012. [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: Being considered “one of the guys” by Oliver, Trip, and Abe is fine with Charlotte, as she gives them the girl-perspective on life and keeping their band together behind the scenes. When a new guy joins the band and encourages her to grab the mike, their whole dynamic changes and Char isn’t sure if the guys can handle it.

She and Trip have been friends forever, but after he and lead singer Oliver have “creative differences” Trip leaves the band, and Sad Jackal must audition a new lead guitar player. Now who’s going to create all the melodies for Char’s lyrics?

Char has to deal with Trip’s sudden distance at school, her stepsisters’ giggle-pop taste in music at home, and weird vibrations at band practice, as new guitarist Fabian starts treating her like a girl. New lyrics just stream from her pen as her stepsister has a messy break-up, as other friendships ebb and flow… and Sad Jackal is hired to play at the school’s Halloween dance.

Trying to balance her commitment to the band with tough school classes, she agrees to be brilliant slacker Benji’s study buddy despite Trip’s dire warnings. As Halloween nears, Charlotte allows her stepsisters to give her beauty treatments and lets Fabian coax her into singing harmonies that turn into full-blown solos.

Does Fabian really see her as a girl instead of just another member of the band? Can Oliver deal with Charlotte taking the microphone or does he want her to stay out of his spotlight? What if her need to sing the stories she writes as lyrics is stronger than the band’s need for her to smooth out all the details for them? And why is Trip avoiding all her calls now, when she needs his viewpoints most of all?

Rooted in Atlanta’s alternative music scene, Charlotte struggles to decide if it’s time to stop just Being Friends With Boys and get going with her life in music and beyond. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.


  1. You describe Charlotte, her dilemmas, and BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS so *beautifully*! Thank you for the terrific review!

    1. Thanks for visiting BooksYALove, Terra! Charlotte is such a real person & her worries ring very true. Can't wait for your next book!


  2. WOW That reminds me of my adolescent years!

    1. I really love Char's "self" - and did you see the book trailer with her sketchpad?



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