Friday, July 2, 2010
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
When she’s exiled from Canada to sunny Los Angeles, Katy figures she’ll bury her nose in a book and ignore the fact that she’s spending two weeks with her father. Her father, Beaut Ratner—punk name: the Rat—is a recovered addict and the drummer of the famously infamous band, Suck. Even though she doesn’t want to be there, even though she feels abandoned by her mom, even though the Rat isn’t anything she’d call a father, Katy is a nice girl. She’s quiet and polite. She smiles. Another kind of girl, one like doom-and-gloom Lake—lead singer for an all-girl band and the Rat’s idea of a chaperone—might take off, break the rules, scrawl manifestoes on the walls. Or she might pound on the skins and cymbals, let it all out, because sometimes the beat’s better than crying. Sometimes it’s the same thing. But music is dangerous and Katy isn’t that kind of girl. So what kind of girl is she?
I bought this book last summer at The Strand when I was in NYC visiting my BFF. It made the move with me to North Carolina just a few weeks later and for the last year has been sitting on my bookshelf so modestly. I am not sure what finally made me pull it down and give it a shot but I am really glad I did and feeling a little dumb for having waited so long. I really enjoyed this book and any fan of Audrey, Wait! (which I clearly was) needs to read this.
Katy is beige. She is boring and blends in. That is until she goes to live with her rocker Dad, The Rat, and her whole world changes. Sure all the life changes and the ending are fairly predictable but the way Cecil Castellucci infuses the California punk rock scene in to the story is pure genius.
The book reads really fast, I finished it in one afternoon by the pool, but all the characters are fully developed and extreme. Either, extremely sweet and sentimental or extremely difficult, everyone in the novel is extreme. The characters are fully developed and easily relatable and The Rat, Lake, Garth and Trixie all add something amazing to the world Katy is thrown in to.
Each chapter title is the name of a song and there are so many references to music in the novel that it really made me want to download a ton of songs and name it the Beige playlist.
I also really appreciated that Castellucci tackled the darker sides of the music business head on. She didn’t dance around topics like sex and drugs, instead she made sure readers were aware that they were part of the world and showed the very real effect they have on people.
So many things to really love about this book and with that I am off to see if my library has any of Castellucci’s other books!
Has anyone read Beige or anything else by Castellucci? Leave your reviews in the comments.
This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge.