Synopses & Reviews
Jael has always felt like a freak. She has never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad has always been superstrict—but thats probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her 16th birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her familys dangerous history and Jaels untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell, while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.
Author Jon Skovron takes on the dark side of human nature with his signature funny, heartfelt prose.
"This first novel about a boy who loves music can be heavy-handed, but it hits enough high notes to be a crowd-pleaser. Sammy is trying to keep his band, Tragedy of Wisdom, together, but with a bullying singer and a spacey bassist, it seems destined to end in disaster. Of course, Sammy's got his own problems, from his grandfather's deteriorating health to a good friend who is hoping to escalate their relationship. After a bad open mike night, Sammy is convinced he 'can't sing in front of other people.' The characters are a bit extreme, such as Joe, the band's rage-ridden frontman from the projects who writes a song about the 'sanity closet.' Readers will easily predict the trajectory of Sammy's story, but even so, this angsty protagonist is an easy character to like, and readers will relate to his struggle with the fact that '[t]hings happened that you couldn't control.' The use of music throughout, as well as descriptions of what it's like to play and perform, add flourish to this coming-of-age story. Ages 14 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Music is in Sammys blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammys indie rock band could be huge one day—if they dont self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all their compromises and reassure Sammy that his lifes dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammys grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.
Told in a voice thats honest and wry, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but also with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if theyd ever find their place in the world.
Sammy wants to be a musician, as was his grandfather, but while the band he is in is self-destructing, Sammy is too distracted by his grandfather's decline and confused feelings about his best friend to fix it while his mother stays too busy to help.
About the Author
Jon Skovron is also the author of Misfit. The Washington Post Book World said of Struts & Frets, “Skovron perfectly captures that passion—sometimes fierce, sometimes shy—that drives so many young artists to take the raw stuff of life and ‘transform it into something beautiful.” He lives in Washington, DC.