Friday, August 22, 2008

Book review: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

Sometimes, I had to put this book down--not because I didn't love it, but because I needed time to absorb and sometimes I needed time to rest. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert grips the reader so tightly and envelops the reader so completely that its easy to get really tired living Emily Black's life with her. The reader is left emotionally raw...regularly.

As a caveat, I'd like to warn you that while this book is about a young adult--the theme and subject matter are very mature. Meaning sex, drugs, rock and roll are prevalent, as are adult situations and language. It was never gratuitous--I'd say it is maybe an R rating by movie standards. (which will probably jack up her sales by me saying that, which is fine by me--the book was phenomenal)

Ms. Kuehnert crafted a tale of a mother and daughter against the backdrop of the punk scene. Emily's mother, Louisa, abandoned Emily and her Dad when Emily was very young. What Emily carries with her is an image of a free-spirit who left to follow the music of her heart and soul. As Emily grows, she uses the same music to nurture her own soul and to be close to Louisa, whom she has painted as a rock goddess.

Louisa, on the other hand, lives her life running not from Emily nor to music. She is running away from herself--and well, we all know that doesn't take you too far.

Not being part of the punk scene is not a problem. Read this book and you will feel like you are there. You will be a part of it. You will feel the bass in your chest, you will smell the smoke and the sweat, you will taste the freedom. And you will yell at Emily, "No! Don't do that!" and you will yell at "Emily. Oh my God! I can't believe you just did that!" And your heart will be broken--more than once, I promise you.

I can't wait for another book by Stephanie Kuehnert. She rocks.


  1. Lilli--you will love it.

    It was such an intense and overwhelming book. In a good way, I mean

  2. This sounds so, so good. I'm all over it!! Thank you for the fantastic review!