Arriving on the Los Angeles music scene in 1975, they catapulted from playing small clubs to selling out major stadiums, headlining shows with opening acts like the Ramones, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, and Blondie. Currie lit up the stage with the provocative teen-rebellion songs "Cherry Bomb," "Queens of Noise," and "Born to Be Bad," riding a wave of hit songs and platinum albums, all while touring around the world.
On the face of it, Currie's is a riveting story of girl empowerment and fame. But it is also an intensely personal account of her struggles with drugs, sexual abuse, and violence. She and her bandmates, runaways all, were thrown into a decadent, high-pressure music scene where on the road, unsupervised for months at a time, they had to grow up fast and experience things that no teenage girls should. Neon Angel exposes the side of the music industry fans never get to see, and chronicles the group's rise to fame and their ultimate demise.
Shocking and inspiring, funny and touching, Neon Angel stunningly re-creates a bygone era of rock and roll, all the while providing an inside look at growing up hard under the relentless glare of the public eye, and chronicling one tough woman's fight to reclaim her life."
My Review: Okay, I'll admit it: this book is not strictly YA fiction...but it is so good that I feel like it deserves more attention---and a glowing review. (And I AM an avid punk-rock fan, so it was just plain fascinating to me.) This is the story of Cherie Currie---lead singer of the punk-rock band The Runaways---and how The Runaways came to be, in the 70s. This is a memoir, so it's not boring at ALL! It completely reads like a YA fiction novel; the writing is very teen-friendly and easy to read. Cherie's story is simply fascinating, and parts of it are horrible and disgusting. The books deals with the ugly side of being a rock star in the 70s (and even now, maybe, although I doubt bands these days are that RAW): the drugs, the drinks, the perversions... It also talks about how immense and awe-inspiring their fame became, how far The Runaways got. As the first all-girl punk-rock band, they were breaking legendary ground here. Cherie's emotions were so vivid and relatable. There were parts where I could really envision my emotions to be on par with hers. It was a swirl of emotions and intensity, made all the more amazing by the fact that this actually happened---and to teenage girls of around fifteen-years-old, no less! Neon Angel is an amazing book that deserves much, much more attention than it gets.
Cover: The cover is simply a picture of Cherie Currie singing, nothing too amazing, so it's merely okay. But the font is nice and bright and bold; I always like it when a font is like that.
Overall Grade: A-