From Publishers Weekly
Washed-up rock star Sophie Lee has coasted along as a B-level TV celebrity since the breakup of her indie rock band, Sky, and her divorce from Ari Klein, the alluring but drug-abusing lead guitarist and fellow Harvard classmate. But when the band reunites for a one-night charity event, she realizes her dreams of stardom might not be over. Her new producer and lover, Leo Masters, pushes her into recording and touring again, throwing Sophie in over her head, as she is torn between her old love and her new one in the pressure cooker of fame. NPR radio host Chideya captures the New York music scene at the turn of the millennium in her debut novel, but fails to generate much sympathy for Sophie as she struggles through a quagmire of problems, mostly resulting from her own inability to take control of her life. Sophie's many neuroses aren't organic, a new one seeming to appear any time the reader's interest may be waning. Despite a memorable cast of side characters, the plot flounders along as ineffectually as the heroine. (May)
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In this uninhibited rock-and-roll soap opera of a novel, Chideya presents a portrait of a suffering artist who sports a résumé similar to her own. Black Harvard graduate Sophie “Sky” Lee makes her living as a music television host in Manhattan, but her first love is making music with her band. Its initial incarnation turned into a disaster when her husband, Ari (now her ex), became a heroin addict, but a reunion concert convinces the band members that it’s worth another try. With the help of a slick new manager who is also her latest love interest, Sky decides it’s time to give herself over to her music. But the same demons that feed her creativity work to undermine her stability as she battles addictions to food and alcohol. The band sets out on tour, with stops along the way in the South, home to her large and loving family, while Sky vents about her weight and her lover. Full of passionate descriptions of performing, drinking, and sexual encounters, this debut is a messy but engaging shout-out to the rock-and-roll life. --Joanne Wilkinson