The world needs more good rock-n-roll novels. The last one I read was Tom Perotta’s The Wishbones. Stephanie Kuehnert’s I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is another good one. (Please! If you have more recommendations, let me know.)
The rock spirit of this novel cannot be faulted. It has guitars and drums and microphones and concerts and clubs and kids and attitude. Stephanie Kuehnert nails her rock settings in Chicago, rural Wisconsin, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone has some first-novel flaws, but all is forgiven because in this book Stephanie Kuehnert successfully answers the question posed by Emily, her main character: “How’d you capture the essence of music without the sound?”