Title/Author: My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend by Eleanor Wood
Filed Under: YA, Contemporary, Realistic
Publisher/Published: Macmillan Children’s Books, June 1st 2015
Format/Pages: Paperback, 304 pages
Rating: ★★ 2 stars
Where To Find: Goodreads | The Book Depository
Synopsis: Geeky girl meets famous boy… what could go wrong? Tuesday Cooper is happy being normal -doing her a-levels and indulging in her twin obsessions: buying weird vintage clothes in charity shops and writing her beloved music blog (which nobody ever reads). Her love for music started when she was thirteen and had a massive crush on Jackson Griffith, teen rock god and SUPER HOT LOVE OF HER LIFE. Now Tuesday’s eighteen and has moved on to fancying boys in real life and Jackson went off the celebrity radar years ago. So it can’t be him that’s messaging her on her blog, can it? From one girl’s computer to the pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival, this is a love story for anyone who has ever wished that someone would sing a love song just for them. Dreams can come true… (pulled from Goodreads).
*Maximum Pop/My Kinda Book kindly sent me a free copy of this book post-publication. That has not influenced my review and all opinions are my honest own. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in my other review, which they published on the site here.
[Major Spoilers Below]
Although I originally thought that I might enjoy this book tremendously I found myself sorely disappointed. Even though I can identify with Tuesday in a number of different ways, being a music-obsessed 18 year old blogger, there is something really big and lacking from her character. Mostly, I think, this is because she reads like a 14 year old girl would. I know I have a habit of thinking this about a lot of YA narrators (in fact, I mentioned this in my last review about Lara Jean Song in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) but it’s so brutally honest with Tuesday Cooper that it is constantly hard to remember she is actually 18, in college, and is not some lovestruck pre-teen.
Leading me into my next point, instalove is abhorrent in this book. Alongside so many other things that lacked development, the relationship between Tuesday and Jackson felt so artificially constructed it was painful. Even though Tuesday already has a boyfriend when she starts visiting Jackson in London, per his request, she feels this bright spark of connection with him (supposedly, the reader doesn’t actually get to read much about this connection or see it develop at all) that is simply lacking when it comes to Seymour, who she views as more of a friend than anyone romantic. Which in itself, I can totally understand. Tuesday has been enamoured by Jackson Griffiths since she was 13 and he was in the pop band Sour Apples, so now that he suddenly gets in contact with her, it must be a dream come true. Except, when they do meet up and feelings start to develop (I use that word loosely—refer back to ‘instalove’ comment) she doesn’t break it off with Seymour. Actually, at no point in the novel, not even when she kisses Jackson at Glastonbury, does she explicitly break up with her boyfriend. Naturally he is pissed off when he finds out, after it being splashed across every newspaper and trashy gossip rag in the country. I actually sympathise with Seymour a lot even though he’s not the most likeable character either.
I had a lot of qualms with the age difference between Tuesday and Jackson too. Even though they are both consenting adults, Tuesday is an incredibly naive and inexperienced 18 year old who is still in education, no less, whilst Jackson is a 23 year old who has been in the limelight for many years, has had a string of previous relationships and has even been married! I just felt that there was more than one occasion where he was trying to take advantage of Tuesday’s affection for him which may or may not be linked to the ages or the differing experience levels between them, I don’t know. It’s important to remember that Tuesday’s exams start in literally a week’s time but Jackson is constantly pestering her to come visit him in London, to stay over, to go to Glastonbury with him. It’s ridiculous! And, you know, as a result of Tuesday heading off to Glastonbury she fails her last English paper. Completely. Not that Jackson is just to blame for that.. they were both being stupid. Still, I feel very protective of Tuesday Cooper and feel that she was wrongfully taken out of her comfort zone.
“‘I’ve got to go,’ I say lamely, not moving. This time I know I’ve really got to. I’ve already stayed much later than I should have done.
‘Oh, Ruby Tuesday! Don’t go. Please.’ He sounds genuinely panicked. ‘I was hoping you could stay over. We could spend the whole evening together.'” – p.118
It’s not all doom and gloom though, given that I haven’t given the book 1 star. I gave it two, since there are a few redeemable qualities to it and a few elements that I actually did enjoy. Anna, friend of Tuesday and girlfriend of Tuesday’s best friend Nishi, is a thoroughly thought out character and one of the only people who makes a clear definable development from the beginning of the novel to the end. At first she’s quite meek and very intimidated by her girlfriend even though they are happy together; by the end she’s exponentially come out of her shell and realised how to stand up for herself, even with those she loves. Seymour makes a similar transition.
Overall, I thought the plot of the book had potential to be incredibly interesting if only it had been given the depth and maturity needed to look at some of the issues delved into within the book. The whole Glastonbury scene looked at negative effects of the media and addiction but they were never explored properly, like I would have liked. Alongside this so many other elements were left half-explained or underdeveloped. I just wasn’t happy with it in general. Perhaps to a younger audience this would resonate more. For these reasons, I have given My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend 2 stars.
Favourite Parts: The cake at the café. Richard. Carrie_Cougar. Mad Reggie and the minivan.
Least Favourite Parts: Glastonbury. Seymour’s family dinners. Tuesday’s blogs. At Jackson’s Hotel.
Would Recommend To: A younger audience than myself.