At the age of 15, Taylor Beauforte has only met her father twice in person. After all, he is the lead singer of a world-famous rock band, constantly on the cover of music magazines and giving interviews on MTV. He pays for Taylor to attend the Treadwell Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts, and provides her mother with monthly checks to cover her basic needs, but has never made much of an effort to play an active part in Taylor’s life. Taylor’s mom Dawn is the only family she has ever really known, and because of Dawn’s hard-partying Hollywood lifestyle, studious Taylor is happiest on the other side of the country in Massachusetts with her nose buried in a book.
When Taylor ‘s mom unexpectedly dies the summer before Taylor starts her junior year, she receives a crash course in fame. She has no choice but to join her father and his new family on their summer concert tour before she has even had a chance to mourn the loss of her mother. Life as the daughter of a rock star seems like it would be enviable, but Taylor can’t figure her dad out. He seems like a supportive authority figure (even if he’s kind of a fashion tragedy) , but she is collecting a growing pile of evidence that he’s a liar and a cheat. Her stepmother, Jill, can’t seem to decide if she wants to treat Taylor like a girlfriend or a nuisance. Having had no time to grieve and say goodbye to her childhood before being thrust into the limelight, Taylor is suddenly finding herself in situations she could have never imagined before this summer.
With no one else to turn to, Taylor falls head over heels in love with Jake, the teenage son of one of the band’s touring groupies. Taylor has growing concerns about Jake’s background and the suspicious relationship between his mom and her own father, but is desperate for something real in her life onto which she can build a future. When Jake offers Taylor an opportunity to join him on a whirlwind adventure and leave her problems with her father far behind, Taylor has to decide – should she carve out her own way in the world, or try to repair the relationship she has with her only living parent?
Over the course of the summer with the band, Taylor learns the depths of her own strength, the difficulty of overcoming loss, and that the definition of family means much more than shared bloodlines.
Problems with The Rock Star’s Daughter:
1. Too much telling, not enough showing. The characters seemed “smarter than they were,” in the sense that they had information without interactions to back them up. Upon meeting new people, for example, Taylor often listed a bunch of factoids about those individuals. It’s good for authors to develop their characters fully, but having that information regurgitated through Taylor’s internal monologue was strange.
2. Endless teenage angst. Taylor analyzed and over-analyzed every single interaction she had with ANYONE. Many interesting ideas were explored, but often very poorly executed. In fact, I felt like there was hardly any point to the story. In particular, the Allison segment seemed incredibly unlikely.
3. Unlikable characters. Taylor seemed to brush off her mother’s death awfully quickly. It didn’t sit well with me that she did not care about much of anything besides her relationship with Jake. Even more irritatingly, Taylor was incredibly self-absorbed. She constantly whined about her “pitiful” life on tour. I completely agreed with everything Allison had to say about her on the phone. I wish Taylor received a wake-up call from that conversation rather than cutting that friendship altogether. True friends are hard to find — but they should try to bring the best out in people. Taylor has a lot of growing to do.
4. Insta-love. How naive could Taylor be? Besides the early proclamations of “like,” Taylor’s relationship with Jake progressed unrealistically quickly. Where did Japan come from?
5. Preachy. A lot of this story came off as offering big “LIFE LESSONS.” They were a bit too overt for my taste. There was no subtlety. Instead, the book seemed to create scenarios with the specific intent for Taylor to learn something (e.g. the dangers of drunk driving). These lessons are important, but should have been approached/executed in a completely different way.
- Reunited – Hilary Weisman Graham
- Relatively Famous – Jessica Park