Under the Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland
To Be Published Dundurn February 16 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of this review in any way.
Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off.
When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.
But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?
Under the Dusty Moon had so much going for it – an interesting plot, a setting in Canada, promises of a mother/daughter relationship, and classic rock inspired music. All four things I love and need more of in a contemporary. But this one took a weird direction somewhere and it didn’t work out in the way I hoped it would.
My main problem with this book is that I hated Vic. She’s whiny, mean, and inconsiderate. All that really matters to her is her potential boyfriend, who I did not find attractive at all. All of her descriptions of him were slimy and kind of gross. He’s not the typical beautiful boy with passions and a super hot look. Instead, he is just the average guy. But in making him the ‘average guy,’ I didn’t care about him. I didn’t understand why Vic fell for the guy, why she loved him (in a couple weeks time), and why he should take up so much of the story. I felt like he was only there to add to the tension of her mother’s popularity, something that frustrated me. I love romances in books, so I would’ve been okay if that was what had happened during the story, but this one didn’t work out. If your love interest is an average guy, I still want him described as amazing! Give me some quality that makes him attractive! Anything!
Micky was a really cool character and a fun mother. She’s been in a band for a long time, and I liked the little bits of information we get about the band and their relationship. Now, she’s going solo and is back to touring. I was excited for her, but Vic was not. She cried all the time about her mother leaving her, but ALL she ever talks/thinks about is her mom too. If you want her to not be popular, quit bringing it up! Their relationship isn’t the Gilmore Girls like relationship I was expecting. Micky really tries to be a good mother and I sympathized with her, but Victoria was a brat. She steals from her mom and gets drunk and doesn’t really pay attention to anything. Because her mother is a musician.
Overall, none of these characters really made sense. As a contemporary book, it needs to thrive off the characters and all of them fell flat. I didn’t care for the romance, got annoyed by the mother/daughter relationship, and was all too excited to be done reading from Victoria’s perspective. The writing wasn’t too bad, but I think there could be some improvement before I try another book by Sutherland.