Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book review: She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by Ann Hood

Book Summary
The year is 1966. The Vietnam War rages overseas, the Beatles have catapulted into stardom, and twelve-year-old Rhode Island native Trudy Mixer is not thrilled with life. Her best friend, Michelle, has decided to become a cheerleader, everyone at school is now calling her Gertrude (her hated real name), and the gem of her middle school career, the Beatles fan club, has dwindled down to only three other members--the least popular kids at school. And at home, her workaholic father has become even more distant.

Determined to regain her social status and prove herself to her father, Trudy looks toward the biggest thing happening worldwide: the Beatles. She is set on seeing their final world tour in Boston at the end of the summer--and meeting her beloved Paul McCartney. So on a hot August day, unknown to their families, Trudy and crew set off on their journey, each of them with soaring hopes for what lies ahead.

Flo's Review
This book, y'all. It has so many of my favorite things. I can relate to it on so many levels. First of all: the Beatles. My best friend and I became obsessed with them in high school and for awhile, I asserted that they were my favorite band. (Now they tie with New Kids on the Block...more on that later.) But I love the Beatles. When I was in high school, I did my big World History class project on the "Paul is Dead" phenomenon. Around that time they released at least a few Beatles Greatest Hits albums, and I had them all.

Needless to say, I adored the subject of this book. Each of the chapters was named after a Beatles song and I loved it so much. Trudy, the main character, shared random fun facts about them, and it was interesting to read about people's reaction to them during the time they were at the biggest. (Was that really the reaction to the Revolver album when it was released?? Interesting!)

So I loved this book because I love the Beatles. But now I have to talk about fangirling over my (other) favorite band. If you know me (or follow me on Twitter), you are probably aware that I am a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan. HUGE. I started loving them when I was nine years old, so though I wasn't exactly Trudy's age (she's 12), I was in that same age range. My sister and I, along with two of her friends, started a New Kids on the Block fan club. We made and sent out newsletters and everything. So Trudy's Beatles Fan Club? Right there with it! I feel you, Trudy Mixer.

My favorite parts of the book happened near the end. I will be vague, but if you're afraid of being spoiled at all, maybe skip this paragraph.
The scene on the subway with everything singing. YES. I've been there. I know that feeling, and it's incredible. And the scene going into the concert when everyone's arms are linked together. That too. And cheering on the George girl! I've been there. In fact,  the whole fan club plan -- how it is planned and executed -- I have been there several times. This story on some levels is my story of loving a boy band so so much, and I loved the feeling that I got when reading this book because of it. Exhilarated and nostalgic. 
End of kind of spoilery but not really section.

Okay, so the book itself. I actually really enjoyed reading about a young girl growing up in the '60s in America. Are there more MG or even YA books like this? I'd love to read them! I loved that it was a time when you would go to the record store, buy an album, and then come home and just sit there listening to it with your family and/or friends. And Trudy's dad at dinner -- he would ask questions that foreshadowed how things are today like, "What do you think about playing music in elevators?" or "What do you think about disposable diapers?" Those were just fun to read.

This book would have gotten a perfect 5 stars out of 5 stars score from me, except for one thing...I kind of couldn't stand Trudy. I found this little girl to be snobby, entitled, and judgmental, and it made it hard for me to read at times. I loved the story and what was going on, but I really didn't like to hear her thoughts about her classmates or how she seemed to think everyone's world should revolve around her.

But that one dislike couldn't dampen my love of this book! She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) publishes on June 26, 2018 and if you're a nostalgic fangirl like me, I think you might love it, too.

Stay tuned to Book Nerds Across America for more coverage later this month of She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah).

Thank you to Penguin for sending me an advance reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.

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