BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad by Naomi Rabinowitz
Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad
by Naomi Rabinowitz
Shy, overweight Melinda Rhodes’ sophomore year of high school isn’t going so well. Her own mother mocks her weight. Her pants split in the middle of school, earning her the nickname, “Moolinda.” She then loses first chair flute in band to Kathy Meadows, her pretty and popular nemesis.
Her luck changes when she catches the eye of Josh Kowalski, a rebellious trumpet prodigy and class clown. Josh has also been hurt by Kathy and asks Melinda to help take Kathy down. Mel figures that she has nothing to lose … and Josh is adorable with gorgeous blue eyes and a winning smile. She agrees to team up with him and looks forward to finally getting back at her rival.
At first, the pair’s pranks are silly, and as they work together, Mel comes out of her shell. Even better, she finds herself falling for Josh and it appears as if he might feel the same way about her.
However, their schemes become more and more dangerous and Mel is surprised to discover her dark side. Just how far will she go to get what she wants — and is Josh really worth the risk?
MY THOUGHTS: 3.75 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Melinda Rhodes sophomore year isn’t getting off to a great start. She ripped the jeans her mom told her were too tight for her and showed her granny panties to the whole school. She lost first chair flute to school princess, Kathy. Her home life isn’t ideal either, with her mother down her back about her weight gain, and her grandfather’s health fading fast.
So it seems somewhat like a dream when hot, party-loving Josh Kowalski singles her out to talk after band one day. See, he has a plan…a plan to take Kathy down a notch or two. And at first, that’s what Josh and Melinda work on, but they soon become closer. But even though Josh and Melinda’s schemes are successful, she doesn’t really feel a sense of revenge. Is it possible to be a better person, while suffering the drama of high school?
I think most bookworks can relate to that feeling of being left out in high school ( I certainly can), so it was no problem for me to get into this book and relate to Melinda. Even though she’s an only child with successful parents and they live in a nice house, nothing in Mel’s life ever seems to go her way.
Mel is a wallflower, a girl with only one close friend and who only feels at home while she’s playing her flute. At 15, she’s never been kissed or even gone on a date. Everyone in school knows Josh, and Mel is about the most opposite from him you can get. To be honest, I was a little skeptical of their friendship at first, as well. But things progressed nicely between them, and I was happy with the though of them being together.
There are a couple of central themes that run throughout this novel. The first is, revenge doesn’t really make the person who was wronged feel any better about themselves, or change what happened to them. Even though this is a YA book, I believe this is a lesson that society today DEFINITELY needs to stop and think about. Secondly, we realize that even though a person’s life may look perfect from the outside, we never really know the truth about what is going on underneath the surface. Again, something everyone should keep in mind as you interact daily with other people–you don’t know how their day has been so far, so do your best to be a good person.
Ms. Rabinowitz has a very nice, authentic style of writing that I found easy to read. I never felt like the prose was trying too hard, and I had no trouble believing that I was reading from the point of view of a teenager. I found a couple of things predictable, which led to my rating. But overall, this was a well written novel that I enjoyed.
About the Author
Naomi Rabinowitz has always loved being creative. Raised in Nesconset, NY — a suburb on Long Island — she was introduced to the arts at an early age. Her mother, Joyce, is a pianist; her father, Melvin, plays piano and guitar; her grandmother, Esther, was a talented knitter; her late grandfather, Morris, was a violinist; her late great uncle, Sid Robin, was a well-known jazz musician, who penned the lyrics to the popular big band hit, “Undecided.”
Naomi’s parents, who were both teachers, frequently took her to museums and concerts. During their summers off, her family traveled. By the time she was 15, Naomi had been to several European countries, as well as China, Japan, Israel, Egypt, Russia and Mexico.
Naomi’s love for writing emerged when she was in the second grade and her poem, “The Four Seasons,” won first prize in a local literary competition. She became interested in journalism in junior high when her English class was selected to write for Newsday’s “Kidsday” column.
She had as much passion for music. Though she began playing piano when she was three, she switched to her “true” instrument, the flute, when she was nine and eventually added tenor sax and clarinet to her list so that she could play in jazz band. She performed in almost every musical group from wind ensemble to orchestra (but never marching band!). In 2008, she released her jazz album FLUTE PATH.
Naomi received a B.A. in English from Binghamton University and an M.A. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. From 1998-2012, she worked as a reporter/editor for national TV magazine Soap Opera Digest.
These days, Naomi writes, plays jazz flute and designs jewelry for her businesses Naomi’s Designs and MayaGirl Creations. She lives in Queens, NY with her husband, Jonathan, and their cat, Maya.