“Burning Down Rome” by Melodie Ramone is a worthy follow up to her amazing “After Forever Ends”, which is one of my all-time favourite Indie novels, romance novel and literary novels.
This time Ramone has turned her attention to the music industry and the career of a youthful rock band. Teenager boys Kid and Joey become unlikely but very good friends – by circumstance or destiny – and form a band. Both have interesting backgrounds, as have the two girls that will join the band and ‘family’.
The book is full of character depth which makes the rise and the shaky parts of their musical path very relatable and interesting. They are fascinating humans with lots of baggage but we get to see them as real people rather than the stars from celebrity magazines. You never fail to see their vulnerable sides, their reasons for acting and acting out.
I found the book almost impossible to put down – a phrase I hate to use in reviews. In perfect pace Ramone shows us the personal growth while portraying the joys, pressures and ins and outs of the life of a band.
Written with prefect prose the story is engaging and an easy read, it is spiked with great analogies and superb dialogue – I wrote down several quotes to make sure I remember them.
This is a heart-felt story as it could happen, made real through engaging characters and the realistic style. Much is said in excellent key scenes to introduce our heroes easily, but we learn more about their interesting backgrounds throughout. The setting of the scene is well done and feels very authentic. To pitch a musicians life in a convincing and emotionally relatable manner is hard, but Ramone pulled it off with sensitivity, compassion and tact.
Making rockstars human, seeing them as stars and ‘normal’ people. their passion, their focus – well I could go on.
From Melodie’s Amazon page:
I’m a wife, mother, keeper of fuzzy critters, author, speaker and certified Kitchen Witch. When I’m not creating Culinary magic, I can usually be found writing stories, reading books, relentlessly tweeting, knitting or delving into fringe Physics. Super geek? Oh, yeah.
What else? Well, I’m funny and quick tempered, older than I look and young enough to be able to fall on roller skates and still move the next day. I’m short. I have curly, red hair. My favorite color is emerald green. I like Japanese Anime, rainy days, cats, kids, and any movie that includes Simon Pegg.
I’m obsessed with the Science of Physics, particularly Particle Physics, although in the last few years I am drawn more and more toward Astronomy. I’m fascinated with Outer Space and what’s going on out there. Hubble and the Mars Rovers have sparked a passion in me that goes back to the first time I saw Star Wars. And that was a long, long time ago. I’m a curious person by nature. I want to know everything about everything, I want to see it. I want to understand it so I can understand the origins of our universe. But, then again, I want to understand everything in general.
Some things I never will. I will never understand hate. I will never understand ignorance. I try to let them wash past me, but sometimes it’s hard. I think, in some ways, it’s why I write. So I can leave behind a world I don’t always understand, one I sometimes find too painful to stay in, and create my own universe. One that parallels this one, one that is similar, but one which I, ultimately control. One where everything, at least to me, makes sense.
Disclaimer: I am mentioned in the book for reading it in advance.