Chartbreak PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 19:39

Gillian Cross

  After yet another petty row with her mother and step-father, Janis Finch decides to escape. At first she thinks that it will be a temporary measure, that is until she meets 'Kelp', the next big thing on the music scene. Following a sing off in a motorway cafe with the lead vocals, Christie Joyce, Finch realises that her destiny lies in London with the band.

 Her arrival in London is not the fairytale that she had imagined. Christie makes Janis change her hair, clothes, even her name (to simply Finch), she becomes hard-nosed and aggressive, repressing any trace of her former self. Life is filled with gruelling rehearsals and being dictated to by Christie.

 Finch must learn to accept her new persona and in the process deal with Christie's demands. This is made more difficult by the unspoken feelings the pair share, neither really knowing if it is love or abject hatred.
 Eventually the band get the break that they need to hit the big time. But at what cost? There is always a price to pay.

 As with Gillian Cross's other novels, Chartbreak draws the reader in from the very first page, which happens to be an interview with a music magazine.
 The story is told from the point of view of Finch as she looks back over past events. Her narration is filled with attitude and anger (like the character Christie has created), yet she still reveals her vulnerable side from time to time. A side which she is no longer meant to possess.

 The portrayal of the relationship between Finch and Christie is very cleverly written and really gives the reader a 'Will they? Won't they?' sense of anticipation. However it is also quite shocking in its intensity and resolution through violence, albeit channelled through the destruction of inanimate objects. This is highlighted even further by the more lighthearted attitudes of other band members.

 When reading the story it becomes quite apparent how important music and being a part of it is to the band members. Unfortunately, at times the long winded descriptions of the mechanics can seem a little too contrived, frustrating and even irritating.

 Despite the over the top music descriptions, this is still a book worth reading. There is no doubt that Cross is a talented writer and even though it is not as good as some of her other novels, such as 'Wolf', it manages to grip you and force you to read on. Probably aimed more at girls than boys, it would suit readers from around twelve to thirteen upwards.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 February 2009 20:11 )
Copyright © 2009 FrasersFriends