I thought I had put my review on here, but it looks like I didn’t.
First things first–Remember in my last post I said that Eleanor and Park made me cry more than any other book I’d ever read? I clearly didn’t know how RUINED I would be reading How to Kill a Rockstar by Tiffanie Dibartolo. See, while Eleanor and Park had me revisit childhood, it was How to Kill a Rockstar that made me revisit a different time in my life. There were times during this book that I wasn’t sure I could continue because such a flood of emotions came back to me and for that, I’ll probably never be able to read it again. I won’t reread not because it wasn’t good (no, it was amazing) but because the author did such a complete job capturing the emotions of obsessive love.
Sometimes when you read something, you have to separate yourself from what YOU would do, and slip yourself into the character’s mind and understand THEM. That is what I did with How to Kill a Rockstar.
I’m not going to recap the story. You can get that anywhere in the hundred’s of reviews you can find on this book. What I am going to do is explain why this book shocked my soul, crushed my heart and was worthy of a 5 star rating.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, that a mark of a good book is in the reaction of the reader. If they evoke emotions, leave a mark, and have the reader talking about the book long after reading, they’ve done a job well done
Here’s the thing…these people are fucked up. (Sorry for the language, but in this case, it’s appropriate.) These are broken souls, searching for the proverbial peace of mind, and heart. The only road to peace is through music. It’s the air they breathe, the words they speak and steps in their walk. If they don’t have it, they die. Plain and simple. Music became foster families and love-sick lovers for Paul and Eliza, and when they came together, it was an explosion so fierce it practically blinded them. They made poor choices, sometimes naive in motivation, but the all encompassing love they had for each other was always the driving force. Did I want to punch Eliza in the mouth for some of the things she did? Yes. Absolutely. However, I find it difficult to be angry with her for her choices when I believe she did the best she could with what she had–which, let’s be honest, isn’t much. On the readers end you can say, ‘How could she?’ but in Eliza’s mind? How could she not? I know I’ve made mistakes, not just mistakes but choices so poor in relationships that I look back and wonder? Was that me? How could I have done that?
Eliza’s issues are so deeply rooted that she needs a lifetime of therapy, but in her mind, Paul cured all that was buried inside her. Paul, the boy looking for love in every available groupie’s pants, found it in his best friends sister. It’s sounds cliched, but I got it. All of it. Do you know why? Because I’ve been there. I think many of us have. And for the record, that shit never leaves you. It’s a scar on your heart. It’s a hole in your soul that never closes. The pain in this book was so palpable that at times I thought i’d vomit. It may seem overreactive, but it brought me right back. It never leaves you. Ever. The connection is instant and intense. It’s tragic in circumstance and destructive at best. It’s the best high you’ve ever felt. It’s weightless, and frightening, like jumping off the highest mountain knowing your love will catch you at the bottom. You climb. You jump. Over and over again. One day, you’re tentative with your jump and he’s not there to catch you. Then…you break.
After over a decade, I saw my Paul while out for my anniversary with my husband. I don’t know if he saw me, but it didn’t matter. In fact, I hope he didn’t. I excused myself from dinner and went to the ladies room where I promptly threw up my dinner. It was as if he had just walked out my door yesterday. With one look I returned to the place I had tried so hard to forget and then…heard his voice crystal clear in my mind. I cleaned myself up and returned to my husband. When he asked if I was okay I told him truth. “Yes. I’m okay.” I was. I am. I didn’t stay with my Paul and I’m so glad I didn’t. My life is fuller of all the best things because of the choice I made. However, I don’t blame Eliza for choosing differently.
You’re going to hate me for this, but I can’t resist. Eliza is Bella. Paul is Edward. Loring is Jacob. Now, before anyone pelts me with dog poop for saying this, let me explain. The love triangle in Twilight wasn’t a foreign concept. It isn’t here either. The girl. The boy who makes her heart beat. The boy who cares for her heart when it breaks. Loring isn’t a bad person. He’s just a guy who fell in love with a girl at the wrong time. Between the choice of being second choice or being no choice he choose second choice. He knew it all along. He knew he was never the one and really? How could he be? My heart broke from him in some ways more than anyone else. Eliza used him, in so many different ways, and Loring took it because there was no other way. I’m glad he found seemed to have found his happiness.
The prose in this book? EXCRUCIATINGLY beautiful. It’s so painful that I doubt I’ll ever reread it. Up until now I’ve said The Fault in our Stars was the most emotional book I’ve ever read. This book takes the top spot now. Unlike books about death, where sadness is expected, and the conclusion is final and common, this book conjured up a depth of emotions so colorful in grief the words blurred at times.
And for record, Paul Hudson had me swooning so hard I almost thought I had vertigo. That boy.