Published: 8-1-2006 by Simon Pulse
Tired of the beauty-pagean circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most unlikely of roles -- drum major of the high school marching band.
Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with Drew, whose family has held the position for generations. Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they share more than just their half-time salute...
But as the drum major's heated competition turns to sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything -- including the band's success. Love seemed to be a sure hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into disaster.
This is a great book about marching band and some of the crazy situations that can happen when you put between 100 and 300 teens together for large amounts of time. I was in marching band in high school (French horn / mellophone) so I saw this book differently than someone who has never experienced that culture would. First of all, I have something to admit. The 1st time I saw this book at a Goodwill, I didn't buy it because of the friend I was with. She's into adult books, and her only YA likes are John Green books - and I was embarrassed of wanting to read a cute high school romance book. And you know what? I'm never gonna hesitate to read something I want to read because of someone else's opinion again. This book may be fluffy, but I loved it and will definitely go read some of the Jennifer Echols books everyone's raving about.
- band geek personalities - So this is something that probably only makes sense if you know people in band. In this book, the personalities of the people in each section are true to real life. The trombone players are the ones goofing off and enjoying everything immature, the clarinets are mostly girls who have you could possibly need somehow concealed in their uniforms. Seriously, if you need mascara or lipgloss, the clarinets are your source. This book was really entertaining to me because it reflected my band experience so well with these personalities.
- Mr. Rush - Virginia's new band director isn't happy with the drum major situation either, and his methods of forcing Virginia and Drew to get along are hilariously strange. He curses in front of his students and he makes everyone at faculty meetings mad every time he goes to them. Each scene where Virginia goes up against Mr. Rush is a highlight.
- plot - The whole premise of this book is something I love. Virginia and Drew don't get along, yet they have to be drum majors and lead the band together. Band requires a lot of time, so they are thrown together often. I liked that both of them were stubborn for their own reasons - Drew because of his family and Virginia because she wants to prove herself.
- anti-racism - This is a cute romance book, so I didn't at all expect it to take on racism, but it did. Virginia's school is in Alabama and has a separate contest for black girls so that they can't be Homecoming Queen, and apparently no one questioned this - um, what?! - until Mr. Rush came along. I appreciated that this book dealt with racist insults (something that unfortunately does still happen) and the reactions to them. Just because something is a "tradition" doesn't mean it shouldn't ever be changed or questioned.
- Walter - I found Walter annoying, possibly because I usually find it annoying when someone the main character is not interested in is crushing on them. I don't need someone to have a crush on the MC to see her as someone of value. There do exist stories that have nothing to do with love. I'm over-thinking this. Walter is annoying because he acts like Virginia is a horrible friend for not liking him back.
- Mr. Rush made a show of stacking his papers, turning them just so on his desk. "Let me tell you what I know. I'm living in a town that's so small and remote, it doesn't have a McDonald's. I've taken a job that's so bad, the guy before me was dying to break out and start his stellar career as a mailman." - Mr. Rush, pg. 40
- He poked at Drew with the end of his trombone slide. I think this was a boy version of concern. - Virginia, pg. 114
A cute band geek romance, with just the right balance of side plot to keep it from being too gooey
Acquired: bought at Goodwill