Start with the Backbeat: A Musical Novel

Start with the Backbeat: A Musical Novel

by Garine B. Isassi


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Start with the Backbeat: A Musical Novel by Garine B. Isassi

It is the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records. She is thrust into a race to find a gritty, urban rapper before the “Gangsta” trend passes their label by. As Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers search for the next big rap star, they fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current roster of acts as well as the new rap artist they sign to a contract. It turns out, he may not be what they expected. Full of original lyrics and wit, Start With the Backbeat is a compelling examination of the nuances of class, race, and culture in America―which are sometimes ridiculously serious.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520419
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Garinè B. Isassi is a former singer/songwriter who grew up with one foot in Texas and the other in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is a lover of music, chocolate, and altruistic sarcasm; a writer of post-punk humor; and the illustrious founder of Helicopter Moms Anonymous. She is proud of her Armenian-American heritage, but tired of explaining it. She currently lives in Maryland, where she works full time in marketing communications, sings in a gospel choir, is the Workshops Chair for the Gaithersburg Book Festival, over-volunteers for a variety of community organizations, writes when everyone else is asleep, and lives with her husband, three kids, a cat, a dog, and a gecko (it’s the gecko that sent her over the edge). You can read her blog, “Hi!” from the ‘burbs , at her website,

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Start with the Backbeat: A Musical Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
N C More than 1 year ago
A nostalgic novel offering insight into the music industry of the late 1980s, as well as insight into the heart. Found myself rooting for the protagonists, and the novel really came together nicely at the conclusion.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Start With The Backbeat takes us to back to the 1989 and how one woman discovers what the music business is really like. Jill Dodge is a Native Texan and fresh out of college with her eyes set on a career in music. As her journey takes her to New York City trying to make it ends meet until a promotion with her job will have her discovering the not so good side of music. With Jill's new promotion at the record company comes a race to find a "Gangsta Rapper" before the company is out of the loop. When they do find a rapper, nothing about him is legit and secrets about who he really is comes out at the wrong time for Jill as she is dealing with an ex-boyfriend and a new office love. Everything comes to a boil at an meeting which Jill earns her keep and she realizes who she is meant to be with! I love reading books that are set in the 1980's just because I'm a 80's baby! If you love reading books about the 80's, then I wouldn't pass up this book, it truly has a little bit of everything in it including remembering how phones were in bags!! This book also has a comedic side to it that will have you laughing out loud at what is going on and I can't wait to see what is to come from Garine next!! Thank You to Garine B. Isassi for writing such a good book that has the best of music and the 80's all in one!! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I received this book from the BookSparks April Showers Blog Tour.