My Favorite Band Does Not Exist

My Favorite Band Does Not Exist

5.0 4
by Robert T. Jeschonek
     
 

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Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes that he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author . . . and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia . . . a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that Idea himself…  See more details below

Overview

Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes that he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author . . . and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia . . . a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that Idea himself perpetuated. Then there’s beautiful and mysterious Eunice Truant, who links their destinies. When Idea and Reacher plunge into the reality of Fireskull’s Revenant, the twisted epic fantasy novel they’ve both been reading, chapter 64 bears down on them like a speeding freight train on an unstoppable collision course. Being trapped in a bad book can be a nightmare. Just ask Idea Deity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chaos theory meets rock 'n' roll in adult author Jeschonek's ambitious, reality-bending YA debut. In one of three plot threads, 16-year-old Idea Deity is convinced that he is a character in a novel, who is going to be killed off by the author; Idea has also created an imaginary band, Youforia, which has developed a big following, despite its nonexistence. Meanwhile, Reacher Mirage, Youforia's lead singer, is frustrated that the band's secrets keep getting leaked online, and both Idea and Reacher's lives are intertwined with that of a girl who has a face drawn on the back of her head. The third story line is a gory fantasy novel that both Idea and Reacher are reading, which comes to play an important role in both their lives. It's a complex, meandering novel, full of portentous character names, nonplaces and nontimes (Pennsyltucky, Junuary), and many parallels, opposites, and allusions that keep readers wondering what's real. Recalling outsider films like Donnie Darko or Gregg Araki's Teenage Apocalypse trilogy, this proudly surreal piece of metafiction could develop a cult following—not unlike Youforia—but isn't likely to attract a mainstream readership. Ages 12–up. (July)
From the Publisher

Robert T. Jeschonek "sees the world like no one else sees it, and makes incredibly witty, incisive stories out of that skewed worldview."—Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Starship series
 
"Recalling outsider films like Donnie Darko or Gregg Araki's Teenage Apocalypse trilogy, this proudly surreal piece of metafiction could develop a cult following."—Publishers Weekly
 
"This first novel has all the look of a cult fave: baffling to many, an anthem for a few, and unlike anything else out there."—Booklist, starred review
 
"It is also, however, a brilliantly developed and impeccably presented story that will engage readers immediately and keep them intrigued through to the last twists."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
 
"Libraries looking for a strong addition to their science-fiction collections will want to invest in this sophisticated novel."—School Library Journal

ALAN Review - Kim Coyle
Idea Deity is going to die in chapter 64. Idea believes that he is a vital character in a book written by a belligerent narrator, and he is destined to die. Then there is Reacher Mirage, a lead singer in a band that Idea is supposed to have made up in an Internet hoax. Reacher and Idea come together in the fantastical novel they are both reading— Fireskulls's Revenant. The weaving of the three intricate plots makes the story a little difficult to follow at first. However, once the realities of the characters intertwine, the reader is in for a roller-coaster ride of suspense. My Favorite Band Does Not Exist is a thrilling combination of fantasy and reality where one discovers that both worlds can coexist through the imagination. Reviewer: Kim Coyle
VOYA - Christina Miller
Idea Deity and Eunice Truant, Reacher Mirage and Eurydice Tarantella, and Lord Fireskull and Johnny Without live in parallel (but connected) worlds, and their stories are told in alternating chapters. Although they dwell in dissimilar realities, Idea and Reacher face the same challenges and are aware of an unforeseen force that influences events in their lives and may manipulate their actions. Idea invented a fake band, Youforia, and thanks to the website he also created, the band's popularity soared. A debut performance, however, is somehow scheduled for the band that does not exist; Youforia's lead singer, Reacher, did not schedule it and does not know who did. As Idea and Eunice travel across the country to confront the imposter band capitalizing on Idea's invention, a kidnapped Reacher is also on his way to Maysville, where he will be forced to perform. Meanwhile, Lord Fireskull and Johnny Without are characters in Fireskull's Revenant, a fantasy novel that both Idea and Reacher are reading. Fireskull and Without are at war, faced with a dichotomous warning and prophecy that can have no winners. Three worlds slowly converge; will anyone survive? While its clever conception is initially enticing, ultimately this reviewer had no idea what to make of the confusingly developed alternate worlds. The linguistic manipulations and superficial clues that distinguish and connect the overlapping universes (names and physical characteristics, sky and grass colors, etc.) were not enlightening. The narrative complexity detracts from the book's readability. Reviewer: Christina Miller
VOYA - Monica Gorman
This book is unpredictable and full of alternate-reality confusion, but that is about it. Years-old psychological baggage and irrational fears are dispelled by suddenly revealed facts, with no way to tell if those facts are actually real. The protagonist's conviction that he is a character in a novel makes him resent the author's control but not question his own existence. Disappointingly, Jeschonek sidesteps the obvious question of how to tell if you exist, and why—or whether—it matters. Reviewer: Monica Gorman, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Not only does "My Favorite Band" not exist, but it's hard to decide if Idea Deity and Reacher Mirage, the two main characters in this Young Adult Urban Fantasy really exist. And, is Eunice Truant—truant? Or is she really there? Actually, it's even more difficult to keep all the story lines, character names, and locations straight—but just when the reader thinks he may have it all straight, "Fireskull's Revenant," a book within this book, written by Milt Ifthen and published by Constant Books, appears. Is this the ultimate irony, having a book within this book published by "Constant" Books? While clever in parts, and earnest in others, with fear of failure and fear of dying a common thread, along with "Grief" as a character, this book reads like an out of control nightmare from which you just can't seem to wake up. The last page includes song lyrics that ask "Is there a sequel in store or no more or no more when we get to the end?" It is the hope that when we wake up from this nightmare, there will be no sequel in store and we will realize it was all just a dream. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Idea Deity suffers from the delusion that someone else is writing the story of his life; that he is living in a book. To combat his paranoia, he creates a fake band, Youforia. As it gains a cult following, even though it has never performed, Idea realizes that someone out there is pretending to be Youforia, and he's furious. Alternately, Reacher Mirage is Youforia's lead singer. Somewhere, someone is posting all kinds of secret information about his band online. He can't figure out how they know what they know, but he's determined to figure it out. As both boys head for the same concert venue with an enigmatic girl in tow, both Reacher and Idea feel as though someone else is pulling the strings, guiding their lives, but neither of them knows to what point. When their alternate worlds collide, the consequences have the power to affect the entire universe. Jeschonek has created a quirky, time- and space-bending adventure that might just gather a cult following of its own. This novel will probably appeal to fans of Libba Bray's Going Bovine (Delacorte, 2009), whose hallucinogenic road trip also induced thought-provoking and chaotic reactions. Libraries looking for a strong addition to their science-fiction collections will want to invest in this sophisticated novel.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews

Guys with weird names, girls with creepy tattoos and a splintered universe form the core of this novel that's so meta it loses itself to its own cleverness.

Idea Deity (yes, that's his real name) spends most of his life inventing the online world of Youforia, a rock-'n'-roll band that's taken the Internet by storm, even though they don't exist. He suffers from Deity Syndrome, a fear that he might exist only in the pages of a novel. Somewhere else lives Reacher Mirage, the lead singer of Youforia, a band that's taken the Internet by storm, even though they've never recorded a song or an album. Neither knows the other exists. Both have girlfriends with strangely similar names and tattoos, and both are reading a hokey horror/fantasy novel calledFireskull's Revenantwith two warring characters who might hold a clue to their existence. Bizarre? Yes. Complex? Yes. Hard to follow? Absolutely. Jesschonek's puzzling, if ambitious debut mashes too many characters, too many plots and too many oddities together, making it more of a hot mess than a cohesive narrative. Just when readers think they've wrapped their brains around what's going on, he throws another curve ball. The back stories to Idea's and Reacher's lives aren't revealed until the end, and by then readers might have already given up.

Will the band get back together, or will the world end? Who cares?(Science fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547622385
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
07/11/2011
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Robert T. Jeschonek's short stories have appeared in anthologies published by DAW (a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Penguin), several Star Trek anthologies published by Pocket Books, and in numerous print and online magazines. He has also written stories for DC Comics and is working on a Twitter serial called "Shave," forthcoming in 2011. For more information, please visit him on the web at www.thefictioneer.com. This is Robert's first novel. He lives in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

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My Favorite Band Does Not Exist 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 4 reviews.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing book. Really well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago