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Gray Hardcover – February 19, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Perfectly named, Gray explores the difficult transition into adulthood and the indelible mark a first love can leave. Drawing heavily from author Wentz’s own life, the novel tells the story of Pete, a musician in Chicago who leaves college early to pursue his passion for music. As his band begins to find acclaim, Pete struggles with his difficult relationship with his girlfriend, a woman he knows he loves. Gray does not provide easy answers. Pete openly struggles with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. He falls into negative behavior patterns, gets out, and then falls back into them again, ultimately attempting to take his own life. In raw and emotional prose, the first-person narrative puts the reader directly inside Pete’s mind and in the middle of his struggles to make sense of his relationship with his girlfriend, his blossoming stardom, and his feelings of loss and isolation. Fans of Wentz’s band, Fall Out Boy, as well as those who enjoyed Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity (1995), will respond to this affecting read. --Eve Gaus

Review

"Wentz brings you inside into the head of a rock star [in Gray]...Whether or not you’re a fan of Fall Out Boy or just Pete Wentz, the book will bean interesting read for all." (The Beat Magazine)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; First Edition edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416567828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416567820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By ameliajp on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a huge Fall Out Boy fan, I have been waiting for this book for a long time. Pete has been writing this book (under a different name) for a while, and FOB fans never knew if it would ever surface. When I heard it was to be released, I was excited. I always knew that Pete's writing style would be flowery and metaphorical (and sometimes a little ridiculous) because that's what his lyrics are like. If you expected anything less, you're silly.

I mostly enjoy the way Pete writes. I like how he can suck you into a mindset and describe feelings in such a raw way. That's what makes FOB songs so compelling, too. But this alone isn't enough to carry the book. Whilst the story is simple, it's also very repetitive. He hashes over the same "problems" time and time again - which I think is the point, but you start to lose sympathy for the protagonist (which is obviously Pete). In some senses, I think this is intentional. I don't think Pete wants us to feel sympathy for him. Despite how depressing and apathetic the book is, I think he's just being honest. There are plenty of times in the book where the protagonist acknowledges that he isn't a pleasant person and I actually really liked the brutal honesty. As for "Her" (which is the ambiguous way he refers to his on/off girlfriend), I find her character tiring. Pete doesn't build her character well enough for us to care about her pain. One of the very first "problems" then have isn't explained well enough for us to care. He jumps from them being relatively OK, to briefly mentioning they argue, to him saying he wants to punish her for all the awful things she's done. To feel the anger alongside him, we need a little more insight than that. I found that difficult to shake.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aubrey Reads on December 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a couple of days of reflection to bring myself to write a review. When Gray ended, I just wasn't sure how I felt. The rawness and honesty stuck with me. There are few books I continue thinking about long after I've finished.

Grey is the story of a musician and his progression through the industry. When I went into the read I was expecting a lot about the music, with a little romance on the side (sex sells, remember?). In fact, that's why I thought Amazon suggested it to me. Yes, this book has those things, but the book is about the character's relationships with the girl, his band, family, the world and, most importantly, himself.

And that was the real tragedy of the story; the character's relationship with himself.

There was one line that stood out to me, "I love the way you have with words." All I could think was EXACTLY. The way this man bends, molds, and rearranges simple words to create something so profound is nothing short of raw talent. I don't think I have ever highlighted that many passages in my entire life. Mostly because they were funny, but some because of the pure emotion he could provoke with a few words. All of them made me actually stop and think. Often, a laugh would follow.

`Freud suggests that in order to love someone else, one must love themselves. ... Unfortunately, no one really loves themselves. And, if they do, they need to get to know themselves better."

How true is that?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not stepping on the Gray train and screaming this was the best book ever. I'm not saying the plot, grammar, etc, was epic. I'm saying that Wentz's brilliant use and manipulation of words is magical. That's what kept me going, because a story is just a story until the right person tells it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Oates on February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read the book and it is extremely well written. The novel takes you on an incredible journey and leaves you at the edge of a new beginning. The main character is a 21st Century Holden Caulfield.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By InvaderKat on March 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a longtime fan of Fall Out Boy, when I heard Pete Wentz was writing a book I was automatically interested in reading it, since I have always loved his lyrics. Although I did enjoy the book, it definitely let me down in a lot of ways.

First of all, I'm not sure why this book is labeled as fiction when Pete was obviously writing almost entirely about his life and his experiences. I'm sure some parts are embellished - such as what happened to his on and off girlfriend in the end, which I suspect was totally false - but overall, this reads as more of a memoir than a novel. I wished he would have wrote either 100% about his own life or 100% about a fictional character, instead of mixing both, which is kind of confusing.

Anyway, the book is mostly about the author's rocky relationship with his on and off girlfriend, his struggles with depression and anxiety, and how these contributed to his drug use and suicide attempts. Although he is also writing music, recording songs, and touring with his band, there is little actually mentioned about all those things, other than him just saying they were happening. There's not much detail about those events, the book is mainly about how he felt while struggling with mental illness and his ex-girlfriend, and trying to be part of a band at the same time. I thought reading about his feelings and mental state was interesting, but I wish the book had been about a little more than that, as it did get tiresome after a while. (Although, that's how depression is in real life - it was an honest portrayal, just didn't always make for the best reading).

This book read more like a diary in which the author was just trying to get their thoughts out on paper rather than creating an actual story.
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