Poet of the Wrong Generation follows the adventures and misadventures of rising rock star Johnny Elias. In the early chapters, we see carefree college student Johnny as a wannabe poet, hanging out with his girlfriend Megan and best friend Andy at a Paul Simon concert in Central Park. It isn't until Megan breaks his heart that he finds his own musical soul, turning his poetry into lyrics for powerful soul-searching ballads that are an instant hit with the nineties CD-buying public, won over by meaningful words in a sea of brainless pop and electro tunes.
Despite his growing fanbase and sudden stardom, Johnny keeps his feet on the ground. He would love nothing more than to win back Megan, but her overbearing mother has other ideas. She is soon married off to a better prospect who turns out to be anything but, and Johnny's one-that-got-away will forever haunt his dreams and his music. Will they get a second chance to put things right or are shattered dreams all that they have left to hold on to?
The will-they-won't-they aspect of the story reminded me very much of chick lit, but the fact that it has a male lead character and a rock-and-roll vibe may well make it more appealing to readers of both sexes. My favourite character in the whole book is actually Megan's mother, who reminded me of a Devil-Wears-Prada version of Cruella De Vil. She is truly awful but is the villain of the piece that everyone loves to hate, so even Johnny and Megan pale into insignificant blandness next to her.
It's an interesting look at the downsides of fame and how public opinion can be so easily manipulated but I thought it all turned out quite predictable. I like the way that it weaves real life events from New York in the 1990's into the text and another nice touch is the fact that you can actually listen to "Johnny's" songs being performed on the author's website, which really brings it all to life and makes it seem more realistic. It's a heartwarming tale of seizing opportunities and never giving up on living the dream, whether musical or romantic.
star rating : 4/5
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.