contemporary · review · romance · young adult

Under The Dusty Moon – Suzanne Sutherland

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Blurb: “Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off. When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.

But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?”

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The story follows Victoria who has spent her life growing up in her mother’s shadow. Why you ask? Because her mother is Micky Wayne, the ex-frontwoman of a popular band called Dusty Moon. The group has long since disbanded but Micky took on a solo career. Every year on the Island there is a big music festival, and this year they’ve asked Micky to play.

Victoria takes a back seat for a fair amount of the novel as she tells the teacher about Micky: her life in the band, her tackling being a mother, her life after the band. While Micky is interesting, cool, rocker mum, and certainly catches the reader’s attention, I was curious to learn who Victoria was when her mum was taken out of the equation.

Victoria is a typical teenager. She spends time working on things with her best friend (mainly ideas for a video game) and crushing on a boy she worked with once on a drama project a while ago. The boy in question is Shaun and she plucks up the courage to ask him out on a date. Everything goes well… until she accidently takes him to a nudist beach. And after the date she has a bike accident leaving her with a broken arm.

Victoria is flying high until Micky announces she is going on tour in Japan for two weeks, to be followed shortly after by a six week tour of Europe. So Victoria gets dumped on her Grandmother. Then she discovers that Shaun, now her boyfriend, is a massive fan of Dusty Moon and he doesn’t know who Victoria’s mum is.

This is the kind of book that teenage me would have eaten up in a heartbeat. Any book that was music related or about bands had my pocket money straight away. So choosing to read this book was like going back to a younger me. Even looking at this from an adult perspective, I could relate to Victoria when she was over-analysing her text messages with Shaun and any interact with him, the whole “be cool be cool” only to be anything but cool. Victoria is the kind of person I would have loved to be my friend (and not because of her mum!)

It’s just a simple, coming of age novel, featuring your typical teenage things but that doesn’t make it any less of a book. I think this story will stay with me for a while.
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