The high note by Harmony Jones
Girl vs Boy Band book 2. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408878279
(Age: 11-15) Recommended. Themes: Music Industry; Boy bands; Music; Relationships; Fame; Friendship. Lark Campbell is the talented child of a Music Promoter and a Country Music Back-up Musician, who are recently separated and live far apart - one in LA, the other based in Nashville. She lives in the same house as her mother, a bizarre housekeeper and the two British boy band members, Max and Oliver. The boys are more like older brothers, but the third local boy band member, Teddy, stirs her heart and her song-writing. She has also written songs that will propel the Boy Band, Abbey Road, to stardom. Her own talent, although hampered by stage fright, is also worthy of attention by the world, thanks to her friend Mimi whose skills at film-making have caused a You-tube sensation for Lark, aka 'Songbird'. And Lark is only 12 years old!! Most of this book is about the impending Boy Band tour and the growing friendship between Lark and Teddy and the impacts of fame and a music career on the very young.
Anyone who has discovered Nashville - the Country-Music based TV series, will see this book as a Junior version of the 'interesting' world of the Music industry. In a world of Social media pressures, the mindless screaming and attention of a young female fan-base and the strange world of life in the spotlight, we are taken inside this life from the perspective of the performers themselves. They need to negotiate normal teen dramas and moving from 'like to love' in the eyes of a large crowd. Lark stills manages to attend school, submit assignments and avoid the pressure of 'mean' girls, while discovering if a Music career is also what she wants.
This book will be enjoyed by a female reader aged 11 -15. I did feel that the dramas and relationship issues perhaps seemed more likely for a slightly older character, but a Middle School student will connect with the early romance issues in a school environment, as well as the friendship ebbs and flows with a Best Friend. There is nothing unwholesome in this book, and it will be devoured by young readers who will love the romantic journey.