Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Light Summer Reading

I just read a novel by my friend Stephanie Kuehnert (pronounced Keenert) called "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone". Some of you may recognize the title. It's lyrics from a Sleater-Kinney song. The novel is very well written and it's about these two young girls, Emily Black and Regan Parker. Their epic journey into young adulthood as punk rock girls in the small town of Carlisle, Wisconsin carrys them from high school into their young adult lives as they become semi famous punk rock stars. All while Emily searches for her mother, Louisa, who left her and her father Michael when she was just four months old.

Emily almost ruins her punk rock career as she goes on a search for Louisa for a year, travelling the country on a drug bender going from city to city in search of the mother she never knew. Leaving behind her band, She Laughs at the height of their smashing debut as punk rock newcomers in the Chicago scene.

Of course there are love stories entwined in this fascinating tale as Emily gets mixed up with an abusive and stalkery boyfriend who rides on her coat tails as a flailing musician. And Regan and their bandmate Tom successfully have a happy relationship together.

I won't give away the ending but it's not altogether happy. But it is kind of a twist.

This book is a good light summer read for those of you reading all these heavy political books. Stephanie has produced several feminist zines in her day and was a Riot Grrl. She still believes in the power of grrls. This is her first novel. You can get this book almost anywhere because it is out on MTV Books. I highly suggest it.


Tobi Vail said...

hi julie, thanks for the report back on this one. i have been meaning to check it out. so, was the author a riot grrl in the early 90s or later? did you know her back in the day? xo tobi

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Julie, I am really glad you enjoyed the book. It was so awesome to meet you in Seattle and I was dying to know your in depth thoughts on the book once you finished it.

Tobi, I got into Riot Grrl around '95 when I was 15. I did a Midwest Grrrl Fest in Chicago in 1996 and was part of a RG online community for a few years too. Your music and zines were a huge inspiration to me and really inspired me to get involved with RG, so um *blushes* I hope you like my book!

Tobi Vail said...

hi stephanie thanks for posting a comment. i look forward to reading this, i think sara said they will have it in the olympia library soon. also thanks for the nice words! it's cool that music can inspire writing and that writing zines can turn into writing novels! good luck with your future work. xo tobi

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks Tobi!! xo