Monday, March 15, 2010

Beige by Castellucci

Although I've read the basic story told here before, the author keeps it fresh by setting it in the true-t0-life punk rock scene in Los Angeles. The basics is teen raised by single parent for so many years that teen isn't interested in absent parent, maybe even dislikes absent parent. One day custodial parent receives an offer too good to miss and decides to send teen to absent parent for the duration with the idea that it is about time the teen gets to know the absent parent.

The idea of spending even a month with this stranger, her father really upsets Katy. He is a drummer of some talent for a punk rock band Suck that is still trying to make it big after all these years of being almost famous. He wants her to be interested in rock music like him and play guitar. She isn't. He has a female friend with a small child and his band practices so he sort of hires the teen daughter of one of the band members to entertain Katy. Neither likes the other much. Lake, has a punk band herself - all girls not yet out of high school, but able to play in all age venues and having a bit of a following. She calls Katy Beige because she seems so blah, uninteresting. In pieces readers learn the complicated relationship between Katy's parents, their struggles with drugs and alcohol addictions and their friendships with Lake's parents and how Lake's mother died of alcohol/drug poisoning. In spite of all her haughty ways Lake is pretty likable and Katy becomes a friend of sorts, even though Katy never completely accepts her father, there is a bit of a relationship beginning in the end. There are words of famous punk rock songs throughout, there are names of bands, there are names of hit songs as well. The story is an interesting fast read. A person could become knowledgeable about the world of punk rock and rock in general from reading this or if already familiar a person could find a comfortable friend.

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