Book review

Gone Wild by Robert Muchamore (2016)

Book 3 of the Rock War series

Sometimes it isn't always easy to explain even to yourself why you just choose to do something. Perhaps you acted on the spur of the moment without much thought, or perhaps what you did seemed to be the natural consequence of a situation you had got yourself into at the time. And on reflection later, it can be blindingly obvious that you did the wrong thing. Sometimes we get away with it and sometimes we don't. If it's a big mistake perhaps the best we can hope for is that we learn something from the mess.

That's how it is for the young contestants in Rock Wars. The reality TV show showcases their real musical talent and it's a blockbuster success but the accompanying intense publicity also showcases every good and bad decision they make in their personal lives. Thoughtful, musical Jay and his irrepressible, irresponsible brother Theo, big hearted Summer with the voice of an angel, rich boy Dylan with the privileged background...they're all trying to prove themselves and they all make mistakes along the way. Actually the self destruction is spectacular.

For Jay the thing is, if you've never been in love before how do you know when you are in love? And how can you prove it to yourself if you don't have a look round at other options? And going to a party without Summer might be OK, but just deciding to leave with another girl and continue the party in private isn't necessarily OK if he really wants to keep that special relationship he has with Summer. Perhaps he only finds out how much he wants her when he loses her? And Summer might well have the voice of an angel and she might well have tender feelings for Jay but if she behaves like a bully and cheats on her train fares well then, she must take what comes to her. Can Theo control himself enough to hang onto the good fortune that comes his way? Well possibly, maybe he's learning. And what on earth has happened to Dylan who had everything even before Rock Wars? If he thought cocaine would help him feel less lonely he was wrong. And that's a pity too because Dylan can work magic in the recording studio. And how can any of them possibly work out any of this stuff while competing in a national TV talent contest? I can tell you it's tough.

Summer's nerves usually improved when the noise enveloped her, but she was jarred by a group of girls close to the stage holding up home-made banners. One had Michelle's Twitter picture of Jay after the beating and a Don't mess with Summer slogan; another fan had photoshopped Summer's head on to a picture of a female UFC fighter.
It wasn't how Summer wanted the world to see her. Her eyes glazed with tears, but she didn't dare touch them because there was a camera in her face, and she could imagine the Summer Sobs headlines.

What can I read next?

Rock War. It's a series and Gone Wild is actually Book 3. Better to read it in order:

  • Rock War
  • Boot Camp
  • Gone Wild

Robert Muchamore has written tons of stuff. If you enjoy meeting his characters have a look at the Cherub series:

If you really enjoy the competition feel of Rock War you could check out the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins which you probably already know from the films but is a brilliant read:

  • The Hunger Games

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