The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
First off, let me say that I had met this author at a YA Frenzy event hosted by Anderson Bookstore. It was awesome. Lots of authors to meet and greet and sign your books if you wanted. Lots of books to add to one's "to read list". And this was one of the books that upon listening to him speak about, I thought my son may enjoy reading. But alas, the budget I had decided upon was spent and so it went on the "to be bought later" list. And when I saw it was on this blog tour's book list, I became excited and was hoping I was right that my son would enjoy it. And I was not delusional. Yeah me!!
So why did I like this book. First off, I liked his flawed but normal characters. I felt that these were kids I could have hung around with in high school. (Yep, kind of a groupie type personality is what I could be labeled with I suppose). These kids had a bond that may not be understandable from the outside world but it is there it is strong. Having a kiddo who formed his own band, I get that bond and how it just stays there. It is a rather remarkable thing.
I also liked how the parents were involved in the kids lives. I know I mention that a lot in my reviews, but seriously, I need to say that I definitely feel that parental influence seems lacking in the ya genre. And I think that these young ones need to be reminded that we are here for them and are not invisible. And so when books do portray that, I full-heartedly applaud them for it. (OK this mom is off her soap box.)
One thing that perhaps I did not enjoy in this book is the idea that Henry never found anyone to be with. No I was not looking for a true love moment with him, but I still would have liked him to found someone for a time. I know that it makes him more realistic by not having him find anyone, but still, the hopeless romantic in me would have liked that.
I did like the cover too. It made me think of all the indie band posters I had seen in my youth and made me smile for sure. And I loved how each chapter is named. Well done.
So all that being said, I would give this book 5 stars. I enjoyed more than I had thought I would and it was well written and a quick read that I did not want to put down.
That idea, of a teenage punk band touring America in a dysfunctional van, stayed with me. I spent years trying to write the story, but it always came out as memoir. It wasn’t until I discovered the disfigured and damaged character of Harbinger Jones that I realized my experiences in Woofing Cookies were more universal, that they were really about the power of music to heal. When that all came together, I knew the story I needed to tell.