Sam and Melissa are complete opposites. Sam is a metalhead--a serious metalhead who knows metal history. Melissa is a preppie girl. They fall for each other, but the relationship is doomed. Melissa tries to change Sam too much, while at the same time being intrigued by his bad boy image. She tries to escape her preppie lifestyle by dating Sam, but it falls apart.
I loved the heavy metal music references (aside: I love metal. I bought my toddler the thunderlords cd--heavy metal music for kids.) I loved how Sam brought intelligence to the scene. Even to the seemingly illogical practice of moshing...
This is a solid first novel. It's a good romance book for boys--it's not heavy on the romance, but the relationship is the major plot in the story. Juggling a new girlfriend who seems perfect and out of your league with your best friends who are at odds with her, is a difficult thing to do. Krovatin portrays this nicely. There's enough metal, drugs and swearing to interest boys, and enough of the relationship to interest girls. I'd keep it for the high school kids because there is strong (realistic) language, but also because I think middle schoolers just won't really get it.
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