by: Kevin Emerson
published by: Crown Books for Young Readers
publish date: February 24, 2015
When Anthony's angst-ridden rock 'n' roll lyrics go viral, he's unwittingly cast as the school rebel. The truth is, he's not trying to be anyone's hero. Anthony Castillo needs a new life. His teachers are clueless autocrats except for Mr. Darren, who’s in charge of the rock band program. The girls at school are either shallow cutebots or out of his league. And his parents mean well, but they just make things worse. It’s as if Anthony is stuck on the bottom level of his favorite video game, Liberation Force 4.5. Except there is no secret escape tunnel and definitely no cheat code.
Fed up, pissed off, and feeling trapped, Anthony writes his first song for his rock band, the Rusty Soles. His only problem: Arts Night. If he exercises his right to free speech and sings his original lyrics—where his own bombs will drop—he and his band will be through. The clock is ticking. Time for Anthony to pick his battles and decide what’s really worth fighting for.
I was really surprised by how much I ended up liking this book. If you liked The Haters by Jesse Andrews, you'd probably like this book as well.
Anthony is in a school rock band and they're planning on competing in a battle of the bands. However, the lead singer gets suspended. So, either someone has to step up and sing or they're out of the competition. One night in a fit of desperation and anger he writes his first song and he sends it to his best friend. Unbeknownst to Anthony, his friend uploads the song to a music sharing site and almost over night Anthony becomes a star. They decide that Anthony will sing at the concert, but the issue is the lyrics of the song he wrote. The school is demanding he change the lyrics, his fans want them to stay the same. Anthony has a major decision to make: does he "sell out" or speak his mind?
I got this audiobook from the library. At the end of the audiobook the author performs the song from the book with his band. I thought that was a fun little touch. I'd recommend this book to the YA readers and the music lovers.