Title: Boy Band, Backstage, Worldwide
Author: Jacqueline E. Smith
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 STARS!)
This weekend I read the Boy Band series by Jacqueline E. Smith. Below is my review of Book 1, Boy Band, and the series in general. You can also check out my review on YouTube, here (don't mind that I cut off the top of my head 😬):
The story is told from the first-person present perspective of Mel Parker. She’s who some people would consider a groupie, and I’ll admit that at first I thought that too, but she’s way more than that. She went to school with most of the guys in the band, and actually she’s been best friends with the hottest band member, Sam, since they were kids. He also just so happens to be the one the tabloids love to fuss over, make up rumors about, but he’s not that stereotypical teen heartthrob international pop star. He’s managed to stay the same, calm, cool, collected guy that seems to have boundary issues when it comes to his best friend.
These two are as thick as thieves. They talk about everything. They’re open and honest. They are what friendship goals are, even if he is leaving Cheeto crumbs on her pillow. And so, when graduation came and the band got their big break, it didn’t take much for Sam to convince Mel to drop everything she was planning for her life and come on tour with them. But she’s not a groupie. Technically, she’s basically an all-expenses-paid, unpaid intern who hangs out with the guys, takes photos of them, and attempts to keep up with her online classwork in between. The latter of which is incredibly hard to concentrate on when you have someone like Sam Morneau cuddled up with you. Even if he is just a friend.
Which he is not. At least, not to Mel. She might not have a super-clearly defined role on their crew, but her friendship with Sam is not up for debate. There can be no question that these two are as close as they come… without actually coming that close. That’s right, for ten years Mel has been in love with Sam (and I tell you this because you find out about it really early on in the story, so I promise it’s not a spoiler), and he is completely oblivious… and that is all I will say about that… because, you know, spoilers…
But life on the road isn’t all glitz and glamour, as the media would have you assume. Actually, the media wouldn’t have you assume that. The media drama is intense in this book (as in real life) and their constant harassment only continues to get better (or worse?) as the series progresses. And mixed with real people (and I use the term real loosely because obviously the characters aren’t real, but they totally could be), it gives a new and exciting insight into the costs of fame. And there are a lot of costs.
This is just one (or three) of those books I could not put down. However, I’m not going to lie, I consider myself a Comma Cop. I love commas. And this book needed more commas. But for me, that didn’t detract from the story. Which is saying a lot. Because punctuation is important to me. If it’s not properly punctuated, I usually have a hard time getting into a story. But the punctuation A. wasn’t too bad, it just needed some commas here and there, and B. is something you kind of come to expect with indie novels, because most of us don’t have a team of high-paid editors at our beck-and-call picking apart every word, and C. the story was just so good that I didn’t care about the punctuation.
This is a suspenseful, page-turning series that has quickly become one of my favorite indie series that I’ve read. It’s technically considered a young-adult slash teen fiction slash contemporary fiction, but I think it stretches beyond those bounds. I would consider it a romance. I mean, not the take-me-to-the-bedroom, erotic kind of romance, but it definitely had my heart squeezing in delight.
Smith made by fall in love with the characters, even when I hated them. Sure, Mel and Sam are the main characters (or the main character and the main love interest), but each of the characters have an important role and each of them were well-rounded, and were given a three-dimensional feel. These could be real people in a real boy band.
Smith did an incredible job infusing reality into a world that usually seems somewhat unreal. And I cannot wait until book 4 comes out and I can continue on in my fangirling ways and devour the book page by page.
These books are definitely worthy of 5 stars. The story is excellent. Smith did an incredible job writing in first-person present, which can be a difficult feat, but she did it amazingly well. And the plot and the characters and the drama… it is all just so perfect and addicting and, yeah, this is going to be one of those series that I am going to read again and again.
If you want more information about book 2, Backstage, and book 3, Worldwide, (DISCLAIMER: there are spoilers!) you can check out my Goodreads reviews of them here:
The books can be ordered here: