I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…
The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.
But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.
A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.
“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”– Kirkus Reviews on Runaway Train.
If you are a fan of everything from the 90s, you would definitely love reading ‘Grenade Bouquets,’ as it brings the vibes of life back in the 90s, especially through the lens of Nico’s life as a Rockstar. As Nico grieves for the death of her sister, she also tries to get her life back on track and embarks on the journey to becoming a singer that summer, with the permission of her parents. I thought that was a brave move by Nico by helping herself to move on from a difficult situation, although she struggles emotionally through the process.
Nico faces challenges in the band when she is told that she is the backup singer and Clarissa, the lead singer, wants to keep all the attention to herself, and is jealous of Nico. However, Nico gains confidence and performs better as time passes. On top of that, her friendship with Winter too has been fractured. Nico also struggles to control her emotions and anger as she faces troubles that come along the way. How she handles the problems makes up the rest of the story, which is quite an emotional roller coaster but is very much relatable as we all have gone through hardships in life, considering the fact that Nico’s character as a teenager is very realistic.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book as it brought memories from the 90s back. The challenge that life throws at Nico also made the story more engaging, and it reminds me how even with a lot of mess in life, we still get through the hard times successfully.