Lee Matthew Goldberg
(Runaway Train, #2)
Publication date: August 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I had stars in my eyes and I couldnât see around themâ¦
The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evanâs jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, itâs my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments youâll always remember in life, but I canât imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.
But being a Rockstar isnât as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sisterâs death.
A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.
âAn engaging â90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.ââ Kirkus Reviews on Runaway Train.
Nico's life just became a whole lot better when her parents agreed to let her take the summer of 1995 and go on tour with her boyfriend's band, The Grenade Bouquets as a backup singer. Evan's ex-girlfriend, Clarissa is the lead singer of the band and is putting out major jealousy vibes; however, Nico's presence on stage is astounding and gets the band noticed by a record executive. Soon, Grenade Bouquets are in the recording studio and on the radio and Nico is a real life Rockstar. Life as a Rockstar isn't as easy as it sounds as Nico is dealing with issues on all sides. Grenade Bouquets is an ode to the 1990's and perfectly captures the feel of the 90's and the emerging Grunge and Alternative Rock scenes. Grenade Bouquets is the second book in the Runaway Train series, and I would recommend reading book one before to understand Nico and her past. Once again, I absolutely loved that the chapters titles were song tracks from the year that the book was set in. This led me on a deep nostalgia trip as well as perfectly setting the tone for the chapter. I felt like I was rejoining Nico's life as I read Grenade Bouquets, her life exploding suddenly in a roller coaster of new highs, lows, challenges, and feats while trying to navigate life as a teenager while in a famous band. Nico's emotions are real and raw as she deals with normal teenage issues along with the pressures of navigating stardom and a music career. I loved that she still wanted to connect with her friends at home and cared for her friend, Winter as she went through her own trauma. I was surprised by Nico's actions with Clarissa and how little consequence there was to her actions. The ending was emotional and well thought out. I can't wait to see what is in store for Nico next. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction thatâs outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
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