{Screaming Divas: Suzanne Kamata: Blog Tour}

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Screaming Divas: Suzanne Kamata: Blog Tour}Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata
Published by Merit Press on May 18, 2014
Genres: Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
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5 Stars

At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it's Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi's overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie--the long-time object of her unrequited love--and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they're quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.

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Screaming Divas author photo Author Suzanne Kamata

{Birth of a Band} – Trudy got her hands on a guitar. Actually, it was her father’s guitar, the one he’d played in his band. The instrument had a history of smoky bars, fields of wild flowers, park benches, Greyhound buses. It had been all over the place, probably even Dahomey.
She was going to ask to borrow it, but when she dropped by Jack’s apartment, he wasn’t home. Trudy decided to cart the guitar off anyhow. He never played it any more and besides, he might say no if she asked him to loan it to her. He didn’t trust her so much since all the trouble with Adam.
She’d practice and innovate and turn herself into a brilliant performer. And then she’d start a band. It would be the most exciting thing to hit the town since General Sherman. Yeah, these were good thoughts.
By day, she practiced. By night, she hung out at The Cave, playing records or slamming on the dance floor. During breaks, she looked for musicians in the Pink Room.
“Hey, Maddy. I’m starting a band. Wanna join up?”
Her roommate Madeline tossed a lock of black hair out of her eyes. “You must be out of your mind.”
Trudy shrugged. She asked Jeff, the David Bowie lookalike. She even asked Johnny Fad. People laughed, blew smoke in her face. Sometimes they just turned away as if they hadn’t heard her at all.
Why did everyone treat her proposition like some sort of joke? She was as serious as she’d ever been. The more she practiced, the more she knew that her dreams lay in music. She closed her eyes and saw herself on the stage, crooning into a mike while a huge crowd lit and lofted their Bics in tribute.
When people were drinking and dancing, they weren’t in the mood for serious talk. She had to find another way to put her band together.

Trudy made a flyer with scissors and magazines and Elmer’s glue. When she was finally satisfied with her work, she rode her housemate’s rickety bicycle to Kinko’s and made a hundred copies. Then she ran around Five Points with a staple gun and plastered them to every telephone pole in sight. When she was finished, she went back to the apartment, picked up her guitar, and waited for the phone to ring.
“Hey, what’s this?” Madeline barged into her room just after midnight, smelling of booze and smoke. She waved one of Trudy’s flyers in the air between them.
“I’m starting a band,” Trudy said. “I told you already.”
Madeline shrugged. “Yeah, whatever. I wish you hadn’t put our phone number down, though. We’ll get half a million calls from creeps.”
Trudy didn’t answer. Why was Madeline being such a bitch? She looked really cool with her tattooed shoulder and asymmetrical haircut, but sometimes she could be totally square.
“I’ll get my dad to buy us an answering machine,” Trudy said. “That way we can screen calls.”
Madeline nodded, seemingly consoled, and wandered off to her room.
Trudy giggled softly. Jack would never fork out cash for something like that, but the lie had worked.
The first call came at noon the next day.
“Hey, I’m calling about the band,” a gravelly voice said.
“What do you play?”
“Bass, drums, whatever. I’m versatile. Hey, wait. You sound really familiar. What’s your name?”
“Trudy Sin.”
“Hey, I know you. You’re that firestarter.” The line went dead.
Later, Southern Bell called about an overdue phone bill. The manager at Yesterday’s, where Madeline waited tables, called asking Madeline to report to work early. Someone dialed a wrong number.
Where were all the budding musicians, the soulmates in tune with her dreams? Trudy set aside her guitar and put on some music. She threw herself on the bed and let Patti Smith comfort her.
How was she ever going to start a band?
Maybe she could go solo – set up a drum machine and play the guitar herself. She wracked her brains trying to come up with someone who’d gotten famous without back-up. Her mind went blank.
Two nights later, when she came home from a trip to the Quick Mart down the street, Madeline greeted her with, “You got a phone call. Someone wants to join your band.”
“Great. Who?” She pictured a pale, black-haired guy in leather, a guitar strapped across his hard-muscled body.
“I dunno. She said she’d call back.”
She? Well, okay. This could be good. A girl group. Yeah, that’s the ticket. They’d be like the Supremes with instruments. The Gogo’s with attitude. It would be a good gimmick, something to get them started while they developed as a band.

{My Thoughts} – This book was easy to fall into and quite memorable to me. I enjoyed reading it and I do look forward to reading more by this particular author. With that said onto the review!

Trudy – she is one of the main divas in the book. She has a rough childhood where she is bounced from place to place, she then finally gets saved by her father only to eventually be tossed out onto the streets where she is forced to find her own way to make it at the mere age of sixteen. I have to admit she is the character that most relate to because of a similar background story. However, unlike her I have zero musical talent.

Esther – is a interesting high school girl She is working on finding herself in the world, trying to discover who she really is. One night she goes to a party with her childhood friend Harumi and she meets a girl named Rebecca. That night everything in Esther’s world was changed forever.

Harumi – she is a very skilled prodigy when it comes to playing the violin and the bass. She has what it takes to get places, however somewheres she lost her passion and she needs to figure out how to get that back. She goes through some difficult times with her parents, but it doesn’t stop her from persuing her new dreams.

Cassie – she is a lot individual. She is confused, she doesn’t know what she really wants and she looks to the wrong places to find the comfort that she craves.

There was so much going on in this book that it was easy to keep reading. I enjoyed learning more and more about the girls, their back stories and who they were as individuals. This book is mainly centered on Trudy’s path of life and what happens to her due to the choices she makes, but it also includes the other girls and their choices and who they are, what they can and will become. If you enjoy music, if you want to read song lyrics, if you want to follow a 208 page journey of self discovery then I think you should read this book. I am sure that you will enjoy the read as much as I have.