Monday, September 10, 2012

review: overnight sensation

Overnight Sensation
Hal Eisenberg
(ebook sent for review)
When the newest song from Jonah's dad's recently reunited rock band accidentally becomes a radio hit there's only one problem: everyone thinks the song came from Jonah's band. Jonah's fake band, Hitstreak. And as Jonah and his friends reach higher levels of success it starts to sound a lot easier (and smarter) to just come clean about the whole thing -- if only they could do that without risking the wrath of the media mogul who sees Hitstreak as a potential gold mine.

This book requires a pretty serious suspension of disbelief in order to really work. You've got to buy into a string of increasingly improbable events that lead to "Hitstreak's" song being a success to accept the rest of the story, and I admittedly had some difficulty doing this at times. However, once you accept the story and Hitstreak's rise to fame, the rest of the book gets a bit easier to go with. This book doesn't have the realism I went into it expecting, but what it does have is a story that follows in the tradition of crazy teen hijinks and utter ridiculousness. It's a bit campy and though I'm not sure if that was really the intent, the story instantly reminded me of the over-the-top comedy, Big Fat Liar. (Of course, that comparison only makes sense if you've seen Big Fat Liar. And if you haven't, you should. It's funny.)

This book is a comedy that sometimes feels like maybe it wasn't intended as a comedy, which makes finding it funny a little uncomfortable as I never knew if I were laughing with or at the book. The teen dialogue here never quite flowed for me; it always vaguely reminded me of how an adult might think teens talk. Yet despite the fairly cringeworthy dialogue, Jonah's observations and asides were sarcastic, wry, and winning. He's the most level-headed character in the story and his thoughts often echoed my own in thinking ahahaha no, there is no way that's going to happen right before something crazy happened.

This is a short little book with an out-there plot and plenty of shenanigans that make it a quick, fun read. The voice and writing aren't the best, but there are twists in the plot (especially near the end) that are good enough that I found myself overlooking those problems. This isn't a must-read by any means, but it's plenty entertaining.

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