This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton
Publisher: Atom Books
Format: ARC e-book
While waiting for Kill the Boy Band to arrive in the post, we saw this boyband book pop up on NetGalley and thought it would be the perfect way to fill the time! This Beats Perfect, and any kind of book that deals with fame, is a guilty pleasure for me, so I was looking forward to seeing what manufactured boy bands were really like, after you pull back the layers of hair gel and leather jackets. For me, this book played it a little too safe with the story line, an interesting cross between the Jem and the Holograms movie and Camp Rock.
Amelie really wants to be a musician, but her anxiety of performing in front of other people stops her from achieving her dream. She has a SoundCloud account, with quite a following, if only she could put a face to the music. Her father, Mike, works in the music business, producing songs. He’s currently working with the biggest boy band of the moment, The Keep. A photo gets leaked of her and one of the band members, and suddenly she can’t find her way out of the spotlight.
Lead member of The Keep, Maxx (that’s right, the double X makes him edgy) doesn’t like the cookie cutter life he leads as a singer who could be replaced by any other floppy head heartthrob with passable vocals. He’s desperate to go his own separate way, and needs a little inspiration to do so.
Now that I’ve outlined the characters, you can pretty much guess where this is going, right? Yep. It’s Camp Rock everyone. Girl with the great voice and untapped talent pairs up with the boy band reject to sing the ultimate duet.
This may sound generic as heck, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun to read. It’s like a fairy tale, even though you know how it’s going to work out, you can’t stop yourself flipping through the pages to see if everything works out alright.
If the plot sounds predictable, the characters are even more so. It’s a good satire of how companies can manufacture what’s popular without there being any genuine feeling behind it. The Keep is obviously based on other famous boy bands, and so is the trajectory of their career. It was interesting that The Keep had already been going for five years before the book began, heading towards their sell-by-date.
I really liked Julian and Maisie, the secondary characters, that helped to bring Amelie and Max back to earth or hype up whatever situation they were in.
And even though it felt like I’d read their story before, I still wanted Amelie and Max to succeed, and that’s always a good sign.
I actually thought that this book would have more romance, but I was pleased that most of the focus seemed to be on Amelie and Max trying to work out their own issues individually. I also liked how the pair genuinely got to know each other through music, and were able to share their feelings about what was going on in their lives. Sometimes raging passion leaves me disaffected when I read it, and it’s books like this, which spend a lot of time building up to a single kiss that I enjoy the most!
Also, as far as the blurb goes, I was expecting a lot more drama over the fact she became a social media scandal for a day over a picture with a band member, but thankfully that was the one famous cliche that was avoided!
Overall, This Beats Perfect was a fun read, despite the predictability! I’m really looking forward to reading other books like it, and would totally recommend it if you love music, boybands and a good, cheesy Disney Channel original movie!