Seventeen-year-old Frankie is obsessed with what everyone else is thinking. She can keep up with the chat – from feminism to boys with tattoos – but when it comes to her own ideas, it’s not so easy to hide her lack of confidence.
With the help of her best friend, Haruna, Frankie forms a punk rock girl band to attract the attention of Doc – her spiky-haired, joint-smoking ex-boyfriend. She’s got it all sorted; the Instagram page is live, the handmade posters are everywhere, and the band even has a first gig lined up (even if they are playing to a handful of retired bingo fans). But in her efforts to make the band a success and get Doc to notice her, Frankie starts to care less about what he thinks and more about how much she loves making very loud music. She finally feels a glimpse of who she can be, independent of anyone else.
Then one day, Doc decides he is going to win her back . . .
Punk is nothing without the freedom to be exactly who you want. But what if you’re not sure who that is yet? Can you make your own noise when everyone else seems so much louder than you?
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
This was… so so. The ending did improve it slightly, hence me giving it 2.5 stars, but the start was hard to get into. This is largely due to the fact that Frankie is a selfish, lazy, entitled little moron. She is not an endearing main character. At all. Her only saving grace is how good a friend she is to Ru, when she tries. She is otherwise useless. And as much as she “loves” punk, she clearly doesn’t really know what it’s about.
Ru however is lovely and needs approximately a billion hugs. I really felt for her. And her storyline for me needed more focus, and a little more support. She goes through something horrific and there’s not really much fall out shown from it other than a sudden personality change, an accident, and running away a bit. I feel that I wanted her to get the support she clearly needed. She deals with massive abuse, and just getting away from it isn’t the answer.
The punk music storyline was meh in places, but fun in others. I love music, and punk, so I did like feeling like I was at a gig somewhere, listening to good music in a little sweat box of a venue. But it’s hard to convey that whole kick ass, girls rock I punk vibe with Frankie in the lead. She’s just so entitled, even not really having any reason to be. She gets so much for free from basically having the gift of the gab. Even though later on, she is actually shown to be working on her playing, or dedicating herself to the band in various ways, so much of what she gets is on the coattails of others and she rarely seems to acknowledge that.
Overall, it’s not a terrible book, it’s not also not a great one. It’s a relatively easy read and if you can get over Frankie in the first third, you can probably handle the rest!
Buy The Punk Factor from Amazon UK (affiliate link)