I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Delacorte Press on November 10, 2015
Source: the publisher
If Almost Famous were a YA novel . . . a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
Hey everyone! Today, I’m reviewing For the Record by Charlotte Huang for Sunday Street Team! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!
For the Record has been on my radar for over a year now. After reading and loving Open road Summer by Emery Lord, I was eager to read something similar. For the Record ended up exceeding my expectations. I loved the plot, the characters, the pacing and Charlotte Huang’s writing style. I enjoyed this book so much, if I could, I’d re-read it right now!
I really liked Chelsea because she was relatable and down to earth – an average girl living her dream. I wish she’d been a bit more sure of herself and I wish she had stood up for herself more often. I get it, she was excited to be in the band and didn’t want to rock the boat or risk getting kicked out. But she was always doing things to please others, always making sure she toed the line. That’s not to say she didn’t have ANY moments where she stood her ground, because she certainly did. I really liked the way her story ended and I’d love to see what happens next for her, whether it be in another full-length book, a novella, etc!
I liked Mandy but I never fully trusted her. Some of the things she did really made me sad and, at times, angry. She kind of redeemed herself near the end but I’m still annoyed with her. I will say, though, the double standards near the end with her and a certain someone were ridiculous and unfair.
I adored Beckett and I shipped him and Chelsea from very early on. He was one of the only band members who made Chelsea feel welcome. He had his jerk moments, but they were few and far between (especially compared to the other guys!). He had this tendency to speak the hard truth – which Pem did, too, but Beckett had this way of doing it in a gentle but firm way, whereas Pem did it in a cruel, harsh way. I’m REALLY excited with the way Beckett’s story ended and it makes me even more desperate for a second book, spin-off, novella, SOMETHING!
Pem was an asshole. I know he had his heart broken and stomped on, but that doesn’t give him the right to treat Chelsea the way he did. He acted like she was to blame for everything that went wrong and, let’s be real, Melbourne was doomed from the start – so that certainly wasn’t Chelsea’s fault. He really treated her like dirt and some of the things he said to her were completely out of line. I didn’t even feel bad for him when the reason behind his “rules” was revealed because he was such a stuck-up, snobby snob. Malcolm was a total playboy and a bit of a jerk, yet I couldn’t help but like him. I really don’t know what it was, but he had this goofball side that I loved and that cracked me up.
In the beginning, I really liked Lucas – he was sweet and funny! I shipped him and Chelsea at first, despite being 100% Team Beckett, until roughly halfway through the book, when he started acting clingy and needy. And super attention whore-ish. Then I kind of wanted to slap him.
The pacing of this book was spot-on. Chapter one jumped right into the action and the first few chapters had a great, easy set-up. This allowed Huang to jump into the heart of the story very early on. Still, there were a few things that caused the pacing to stagger. For example, the Lucas story line, which took up too much valuable page space and ate away at the rest of the plot. I think the book would have benefited from a shorter Lucas story line and more Chelsea, Beckett and Melbourne scenes.
That aside, this book was amazing in every possible way. I LOVED Huang’s writing style! It was smooth, rich and really pulled me in. It was detailed enough that I could visualize everything, yet it wasn’t weighed down with too many details. Finally, I just want to mention the tour guide appendix (featured at the end of the book) real quick. This was such a fun, creative element! I’m especially excited to see how it looks in the finished, physical copy of the book (as opposed to the eARC I was reading)!
I definitely recommend this book to those who loved Open Road Summer by Emery Lord! For the Record has a similar vibe and epic characters, as well as Huang’s gorgeous writing. The ending had this happily ever after – but still realistic – wrap-up that I really, really loved! Huang is definitely a debut author to watch out for and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!