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I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone Paperback – July 8, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Punk rocker Emily Black’s daddy is a guitar player, but he set his music aside to raise her on his own after her mother disappeared. Emily grew up reasonably together and rebellious in a small Wisconsin farming town notable for its outlaw music venue, River’s Edge, where she and her best friend graduate from sleeping with potential “rock gods” to starting a band of their own. Their rapid success is the standard-issue rock-and-roll dream, but debut novelist Kuehnert makes it new by marshaling tonic energy and 100-proof candor to create a high-speed, switchback tale. Although the plotline about Emily’s miserable mother and die-hard father is almost too over-the-top, it adds dimension to Emily’s rocketing rise and painful plummet. And Kuehnert is acidly incisive and full-out entertaining as she tells a classic tale of an artist coming into her own, revels in raw punk-rock power, dramatizes just how difficult it is for women musicians to be taken seriously, and reveals that the scariest thing isn’t getting up on stage but lowering your guard and falling in love. --Donna Seaman


"Kuehnert's love of music is apparent on every page in this powerful and moving story. Her fresh voice makes this novel stand out in the genre, and she writes as authentically about coming of age as she does punk rock." -- Charles R. Cross, New York Times bestselling author of Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

"Teeth. Punk. Combat boots. Attitude. Feminism. Family. Girls with guitars. Relationships that jack you up. Sharp things of the not-good kind. Friendships. Love.... It's all here; it's all pure and real." -- Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Ink Exchange

"A fierce and wild ride." -- Laura Wiess, author of Such a Pretty Girl

"A wonderfully written andevocative story of a mother and daughter parted by circumstance and joined by music. I heartily recommend it." -- Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416562699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416562696
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When Emily Black was just four months old her mother left her and her dad to follow punk rock. Now Emily is in High School and she is starting a punk rock band of her own with her best friend Regan. She sings and writes the songs with Regan, who is the drummer, and Tom the bass player. They finally get to play at River's Edge, the place where punk rock lovers hang out while watching small town bands rock the stage and also the same stage that Louisa, Emily's mom, saw Emily's dad play for the first time. Everyone loves her lyrics and sound but they don't know the real reason that is behind the word that Emily sings. She hopes that one day her mother will follow the music right back to her and her dad.

This was one cool book. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is probably on of the most down-to-earth books I have ever read. It isn't full of fairytales and other. Stephanie did a great job of making the book very realistic. The plot was also great, sometimes something would happen that I never suspected but then there were times when something would happen that I knew was going to happen. Which in some books I don't' like figuring out what is going to happen but I didn't mind it at all in this book. The characters in this book were stupendous; they all had their flaws, which is great because in life everyone has flaws. I also enjoyed how big of a part music plays in the story. Which is probably because I am a big fan of rock but I think every one who reads this book will be able to envision Emily rocking out on the stage, like I did. I also introduced to some great rock bands while reading the wonderful story. I recommend this book to every teen out there, especially if you like listening to rock bands. Also some adults might enjoy the story too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the premise of this story--especially since I came of age during the '90s much as the protagonist did. I enjoyed the book but my complaints are many: 1) The story is crammed with so much plot development it leaves hardly any room for the characters to breathe and grow realistically. The author zooms through so many plot points (lots of telling instead of showing) that it detracts from the overall story and character development (Devoting just a scant few pages to a drug/alcohol problem? Really?). 2) There are a few too many MTV-camera-ready moments (which makes sense given that MTV is the publisher here), a few too many rock star cliches, etc.
Still, a quick enjoyable read--some nice dark touches. I'll definitely pick up Kuehnert's other book.
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Format: Paperback
For Emily Black, music is everything. It's what made her parents fall in love way back when. It's what her mother Louisa was following when she left baby Emily. It's what Emily has to stay in control of her life. Music draws her from her dreary life in Carlisle, Wisconsin to River's Edge, an abandoned warehouse where rock bands play. River's Edge is where Emily got her fill of sex, drinking, and rock `n' roll, and where her dreams of being a punk rock goddess began. So she and her best friend Regan form a punk band named She Laughs, and Emily can't help but hope that by playing music, she'll bring her mother home.

Soon, her band is swept up in the dangerous world of rock music. Her band has a lot of talent, but so many ups and downs in Emily's life lead her away from the music. There are the bad boyfriends, the death of her grandparents, the involvement with drugs and self-medication, and a year wasted searching for her mother. But eventually Emily finds her way back on track, and her friends are still waiting for her to come back and pick up her guitar. And so she does, because music is all she has.

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is a beautiful coming-of-age story that I will never forget. Reading along from both Emily's and Louisa's points-of-views was heartbreaking at times, because they've both experienced so much pain in their lives. The story that Stephanie Kuehnert has woven has lessons on everything from friendship, family, love, drugs, and learning to love, or at least accept, the person you are. The story is filled with so much raw emotion, and I nearly cried at the ending because I didn't want the story to be over.

I have to admit that I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is like no other book I've ever read, and that is definitely a good thing.
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Format: Paperback
Emily Black's mother left her and her father when Emily was only four months old. Even though she hasn't had her mother, she's had her mom's best friend Molly, Molly's daughter Reagen (who also happens to be Emily's best friend) and of course her father. Then there is punk rock, which seems to just run in Emily's blood. He mother claimed to have left to follow it, and it's what brought her parents together.

Now Emily's grown up and has a band of her own. Along with Reagen and Reagen's boyfriend Tom, She Laughs is born. While the band sky rockets, Emily secretly hopes that her punk rock music will bring her mother back to her. Even though life may seem great at times, Emily takes the wildest ride of her life with all the classic ups and downs of a crazy roller coaster.

This book was beyond spectacular. I was definitely expecting a great book, but nothing as utterly amazing as I was presented. Now I must first start with the characters. Emily was by far my favorite. I felt like I could really connect and relate to her, even though I'm not into sex, drugs and rock & roll, I still felt like we shared something! Her emotion seeped through every page and she was just so real. I cannot even imagine what it would be like not to have a mother and growing up without that ever lasting best friend. It was also really cool that we share the same birthday!! Stephanie Kuehnert also did a great job creating her supporting characters. Reagen, Tom and Emily's dad all had such life to them. They didn't feel like they just faded into the background like some characters tend to, they popped right out of the book. Then there's the time period. I loved how the book was set during the late `80s to late `90s, as it's something completely different. It suits the book perfectly.
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