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VIP: Battle of the Bands Hardcover – July 26, 2016
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"Calonita nicely captures the extremes of tween emotions, with appropriate squeals, swoons, and tears. Friendship and loyalty take center stage in this enjoyable addition to the VIP series."―Booklist
"Calonita (Flunked) targets Directioners and other boy band devotees with this effervescent first book in the V.I.P. series...Gudsnuk, creator of the Henchgirl webcomic, provides exuberant comics sequences and spot illustrations throughout...The real meat of this diary-style story lies in the behind-the-scenes details of life on tour, as well as Mac's relationships with the band members as she gets to know them as real people."―Publishers Weekly
"Calonita captures squealing tween-girl excitement perfectly in this diary-style novel, but she makes sure being a fangirl isn't Mac's only M.O. Her ambitions to be an artist not only feature in the plot but also in its illustrations..."―Booklist
"A fun read for middle school students... [who] can relate to Mac's joy in writing in her journal. All problems are resolved in the end, and Mac and her mother are looking forward to continuing on the band's tour."―School Library Connection
"This behind-the-scenes story of a girl who gets to travel with her favorite boy band is funny and filled with heart. A wonderful start to a brand new series."―Suzanne Selfors, author of the Imaginary Veterinary and Ever After High: A School Story series
"A sassy and adorable wish-fulfillment adventure that had me squealing and goofy smiling. The characters, the comics, the concerts... I promise, you're going to want to marry this book."―Lindsey Leavitt, author of The Pages Between Us and Princess for Hire
"A sweet and hilarious adventure about fandom, friendship, and family. Jen Calonita has captured the perfect storm of being twelve and finding yourself within reach of your wildest dream."―Jennifer Ziegler, author of Revenge of the Flower Girls
About the Author
Jen Calonita is the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life and Belles series, and a former magazine editor who has interviewed everyone from Justin Timberlake to Beyoncé. She lives in New York with her husband, Mike; sons, Dylan and Tyler; and their Chihuahua, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Top customer reviews
Though I did enjoy this one a bit less than the previous one. Sorry, I am not really that big of a fan of the things that happen in here. I hated those Thunder/Lightning (copycat boyband) guys. Lola was annoying again (though I did love the portion of karma she got at the end). There wasn't that much Kyle x Sam, and I am shipping these two like crazy. Plus I hated how 2 of the 3 guys in the band were just pretty much being rude towards Sam because what happens in this book.
I mean really, you guys think that she would just sell your secrets? Or give away your lyrics? Can't you guys think for one moment? Can't you guys just activate your brains. This is your #1 fan, this is the girl who did all those things for you in the previous book. She would do anything for you in this one as well. Yet, you are distrustful and at times quite mean.
Now before I go back to various other things that made me go RAGHHHHH, I want to talk about the good things.
We are touring again! Though this time there is less focus on that, but still, I was happy that Sam and her mom were going to all those places with the band again. We see much more of backstage, and we even see a recording session. It just made the band so much better.
Mac faces her fears! I love it when a character in a book does something brave. Faces their fears, or stands up against someone, oh, well you get the idea. :P
There is a ton of Jilly, and also enough Scarlet and Iris (either they are around or Mac/Jilly is talking to them on her phone). I really love these girls, they are so sweet and fun to be around.
Mac Attack/the comics. I just adored those in the previous book, and we get a whole bunch again in this one. I really wouldn't mind a whole book dedicated to this character. *puppy eyes*Please?
Even though it didn't have a lot of Kyle x Sam (or well, not as much as I had hoped), it did have some moments, and I was just squeeing and cheering. Mac was adorable. I know the feeling of melting in a puddle at the thought of the one you love/like. I also like how she is still daydreaming about Paris. I hope that the next book will have much more Mac and Kyle (maybe they can get together, aww please?).
There was a whole prank-war going. And while I found it going to far at times, I did had a laugh at what both bands did. From toothpaste in oreos to putting alarm clocks all over the hotel.
The ending was just perfect, and I was doing a fist-punch in happiness. Go Sam!
The mystery (or how did things get leaked even though Mac has a guard to watch her diary + who is the Kitty) was a delight, though it was quite easy to see who it was. Still I quite enjoyed it, and it was also fun to see the characters slowly figure things out.
The illustrations! Next to the comic there is a ton of illustrations and they make the book even more awesome to read. Sometimes I just laughed so hard at what happened in the illustrations.
Now for some stuff I didn't like (next to the one I already mentioned).
I hated Lightning/Thunder. Really, so your favourite band (Perfect Storm), the one you look up to, doesn't have time for you RIGHT THIS MINUTE, because oh hey, maybe they have been working for 10+ hours and they want to do something else for once, they have made plans? Yeah, of course that means that they hate their fans, and that they are bad guys. Really, why do you even think that? Why is that the first thing that comes into your mind. Why can't you understand that maybe, after 10+ hours, the last thing they want is do more stuff. I was just rolling my eyes at that stupidity.
And then there is Lola. I already despised her, but she didn't make it better in this one. That girl needs to learn how a fan needs to act. You can CLEARLY see your favourite band doesn't want you around because you are so obnoxious, you worm your way in their FREE TIME, you force yourself on them and their plans, and you offend people they care about. Maybe you need to just step back and do something else instead of obsess so much. Thanks. Bye.
So, those were my bad points.
One last thing: I did feel sorry for Kyle for what happened to his song, and how the record label reacted to it. Poor Kyle. :(
All in all though I did enjoy this book, and I flew through it. Before I knew it the book was over. I hope that there will be many more VIP books in the future, because there is still enough I want to see.
I should probably point out that I was never one to be totally obsessed with boy bands like our heroine Mackenzie, but if I had been I am sure I would have been a good bit like her.
So, what is Battle of the Bands all about you ask? Well, this time there is a competing boy band in the midst! And whats worse is that this other boy band has stolen a song from Perfect Storm! Oh but it doesn't end there. The song was written in Mac's journal which means some one snooped into her private thoughts without her knowing and took them! Talk about having your privacy invaded! So now they have to find out who is stealing things written in Mac's journal and how and keep the evil other boy band from ruining Perfect Storm!
Talk about a super fun ride!
Like I stated before and in my review for the first book in the series, Jen Calonita really captures the essence of a 12 year old fangirling over a boy band and trying to figure out life. It is kept light hearted and fun, but it is still relatable and relatively real (I say relatively because really how many of us in this world get to go on tour with our favorite band?).
In this story we get to see a lot get tested: friendships, a budding preteen romance, various other relationships.
But that isn't all we get to see. We get to see and take a look at bullying. We get to see what happens to those we bully and to those that do the bullying. It really is an important thing for preteens to take a look at and learn about. And this book does a nice job of it.
I cannot wait until another installment of this series comes out. It is just so much fun! Each adventure has been an absolute blast and I need more!
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.