That’s Why I Wrote This Song by Susanne Gervay Harper Collins Paperback Young Adult $15.99 Australian
This is a uniquely packaged book. It’s hard to know where to begin to review. Do I start with the YouTube video or the free songs you can download? Or do I start with the absorbing story of music, father-daughter relationships and the friendship four teenage girls share? When the book is this good, it doesn’t matter …
Pip, Karen, Angie and Irina are best friends. They go to parties, experiment with relationships, struggle with their families and make music together. Their band, Not Perfect, is finally ready to perform and has a gig at the mid-year school concert.
But the band is well-named, none of the girls are perfect and neither are their families. Pip has a father who is often away but when he returns the whole house changes, with everyone afraid of his explosive temper. Karen shuttles between parents, turning to alcohol and sex as she feels unwanted in both homes. Irina’s strict Russian parents support her music but they want her to play violin, not drums in a rock band. Angie is almost perfect, except she doesn’t like Insomniac Road, Pip’s favourite band and spends too much time looking in the mirror.
After the school concert, everything changes. The words and the performance of their song ‘Psychic Dad’ is a catalyst for each girl and her family. Everyone takes a step, but not necessarily in the same direction.
Technology adds a new and exciting dimension to That’s Why I Wrote This Song. While the written lyrics emphasise the narrative, it is even more powerful to hear Pip and her friends belting out the song. The book has truly come alive. Check out the You Tube video and download the songs and video from the author’s web site
Written by the mother and daughter team of Susanne (book) and Tory Gervay (music and lyrics) this book combines their individual love of literature and music to produce a novel with strong appeal for teenage girls. More than something to read, That’s Why I Wrote This Song is something to listen to and something to watch. Perhaps just the encouragement some young adult readers need to pick up their next book…