Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: One Hit Wonder - Charlie Carillo

Full Disclosure: I received this ARC as part of Library Thing's Early Reviewer Giveaway

Eighteen-year-old Mickey DeFalco got dumped by his girlfriend and wrote a plaintive love ballad that became a huge hit. Since then, it's been downhill. Twenty years later, broke and drinking too much, DeFalco moves in with his parents in Queens, toting plenty of baggage: a stash of ill-gotten money and two items busted almost beyond repair, his career and his heart. The onetime teen heartthrob is reduced to mowing lawns for a living; a resurgence of interest in his song, to which he foolishly sold the rights, only rubs salt in his wounds. But when his runaway love resurfaces after a mysterious 20-year absence, secrets and lies come to light, revealing the unpredictability of life. Wry insights and ironic twists of fate mix a bit uneasily with nostalgia in the latest novel from the author of Raising Jake, which scored a more direct hit in exploring the theme of a middle-aged man trying to grow up. This one pounds the same notes a few times too many, but the likable loser hero and old neighborhood vibe make the journey rewarding all the same.  - Publisher's Weekly
All of us wonder what it's like to be a musician with a top song.  At one time or another we've sat around and thought whatever happened to such and such who sang that song?  This book is one take on the life of a singer with one hit.  As a reader you get to know Mickey as a singer and as a person.  He's always got a story for some present day memory.  The author captures small town life well and in a way makes the town Mickey's from another character in the book. 

I do feel the stereotypical pop star was possibly exploited a bit within the book, but overall the book is written well.  Definitely some plot twists I didn't see coming.  Any kid from a small town tries to move on to bigger and better things.  Not everyone is able to and eventually has no choice but to come home and hope life in a small town isn't too bad.  This book highlights how coming back home can help with closure and possibly open up new opportunities.

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