Heavy Metal and You

Heavy Metal and You

4.5 31
by Christopher Krovatin
     
 

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So here's the story:
Boy listens to lots of loud music and hangs with his friends.
Boy meets girl.
Boy falls dippy-happy-scared-as-hell in love with girl.
Friends meet girl -- and aren't impressed.
Girl meets friends -- and isn't impressed.
Boy meets big dilemma.
Boy plays music even louder.
Big dilemma meets big, sometimes unexpecte…  See more details below

Overview

So here's the story:
Boy listens to lots of loud music and hangs with his friends.
Boy meets girl.
Boy falls dippy-happy-scared-as-hell in love with girl.
Friends meet girl -- and aren't impressed.
Girl meets friends -- and isn't impressed.
Boy meets big dilemma.
Boy plays music even louder.
Big dilemma meets big, sometimes unexpecte decisions.
With humor and heartfelt observations, debut author Christopher Krovatin strikes some very loud chords about life, love, sex, and friendship.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Booklist 8/05
\\\\\\\\*STAR*Krovatin, Christopher. Heavy Metal and You. 2005. 186. Scholastic/Push, $16.95 (0-439-73648-X).
Gr. 10–12. It was Slayer that first turned Sam Markus into a Metal Head. “Slayer was like Rob Zombie, only without the camp value and with better musicianship. They scared the hell out of me at first, and I loved it. Pure fucking evil.” Sam and his buddies hang out drinking, smoking, and exchanging vulgar insults when not attending their NYC prep school. But after Sam starts to date Melissa, things change. He makes her a disc of tunes to draw her into his world (the songs are listed so readers can re-create the mix), and goes “straightedge” for her, giving up his favorite vices. Ultimately, though, he realizes that he's becoming one of the phonies that his idol Holden Caulfield detests. Infusing the story with music, humor, and anger, Krovatin records a perfect take on relationships and how they change. From the terrific cover and portrait of selfish love to the clever CD player icons indicating narrative switches (PLAY, PAUSE, SKIP AHEAD, BACK, and on the final page, STOP), this is an authentic portrayal of an obsession with music. Teens don't have to like heavy metal to appreciate this novel, which is guaranteed to attract readers looking for a book to reach their death-metal souls. –Cindy Dobrez

Claire Rosser (KLIATT Review, July 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 4))
The author is a 20-year-old student at Wesleyan University who grew up in Manhattan, where this edgy story takes place. The summer before his freshman year, he was a Scholastic Push Writing Intern; presumably this debut novel is the result of that experience. The narrator is Sam Markus, also known as Conan (the Barbarian) to his friends. His passion in life is heavy metal music, about which he has encyclopedic knowledge. Sam is also a good student who loves Holden Caulfield and understands Baudelaire's poetry; he goes to a prestigious all-male prep school in NYC. He likes to get drunk, smoke pot and go to horrible horror movies with his friends. In fact, he sees his beloved music as another form of a horror movie. When the guys get together, they happily insult one another and make crude jokes. Enter Melissa. She is straightedge (no alcohol or drugs) and has no understanding of heavy metal music, but she is willing to listen and even to attend a raucous concert, which she hates. Their relationship lasts some months, and they both feel they are in love, yet each has reservations about the other's friends and interests. When Sam finally meets Melissa's friends he finds they are all that he despises in preppy snobbery and artifice, and this brings to a head the couple's dilemma. The talk between Sam and his buddies is appropriately crude and raunchy, with frequent obscenities--puerile, but they understand one another and accept one another. Sam explains to Melissa why he is so attached to heavy metal. It seems to be a way to channel his anger, most of which arose from his childhood when he was bullied at school and couldn't fight back. (The music dissipates his anger, not fuels it.) Sam's story of his first real love will resonate with many YA readers, most of whom have experienced something like this relationship--the chemistry is powerful, but the connections that bind them together are weak. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: S--Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Scholastic, Push, 186p., $16.95. Ages 15 to 18.
SLJ 10/1/05
KROVATIN, Christopher. Heavy Metal and You. 186p. Scholastic/Push. 2005. Tr $16.95. ISBN 0-439-73648-X. LC number unavailable.
Gr 11 Up–Sam wears spiked bracelets, gets wasted with his friends, and has almost encyclopedic knowledge about heavy-metal music. But he's also incredibly intelligent and as knowledgeable about classic literature as he is about the music he loves. Sam attends an expensive all-boys prep school in New York City, and he and h

Children's Literature
A good read for metalheads or anyone obsessed by a particular genre of music who does not mind unrelenting foul language. Sam Markus is caught up in his everyday life of listening to heavy metal music, boozing, smoking, and trying to be cool at prep school without looking like he is trying to be cool. In fact, acting bored and wasted seems almost stressful until he meets a girl who can slice through the metal and really get to him. Then Sam finds out what stress really is. Although she seems willing to learn about his world, she insidiously pushes goals on him like quitting smoking or drinking or even seeing his friends. But that is not the true Sam Markus who really just wants to listen to heavy metal and party with his buds. So he gives up the girl. Oh, but he also gives up smoking, one positive thing he feels he has gained from the relationship. There is good humor throughout. 2005, PUSH/Scholastic, Ages 14 up.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 11 Up-Sam wears spiked bracelets, gets wasted with his friends, and has almost encyclopedic knowledge about heavy-metal music. But he's also incredibly intelligent and as knowledgeable about classic literature as he is about the music he loves. Sam attends an expensive all-boys prep school in New York City, and he and his buddies often cut classes to smoke or get an early start on the weekend. But all good things must end, and they do with a sudden crash when Sam begins to date Melissa, a "straightedge" who doesn't drink or do drugs and doesn't like the fact that he does. Sam tries to modify his behavior for the girl who is more important to him than he ever thought possible, but pleasing Melissa means completely changing who he is. This romance is chock-full of music references, slang, and general metalhead band knowledge such as album release dates, etc. The language is raw and full of sexual talk and innuendo, especially among Sam and his friends. The main characters are well developed and mostly believable, if a bit more emotional than expected on Sam's part. The plot moves quickly and jumps from past to present, with Sam interspersing his current situation with relevant scenes from his past. This rapid progression, as well as the realistic situations and language, keep teens' attention, making the book a good choice for reluctant readers.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439736480
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2005
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author


Chris Krovatin, editor of The Best Ghost Stories Ever, authored Heavy Metal and You, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Heavy Metal and You is Chris’ first novel and won’t be his last. He currently is a Junior at Wesleyan.

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