This story follows Ollie, short for Olivia, a single woman on the wrong side of thirty (at least as far she is concerned). She is desperate to find a guy, but hopelessly tongue-tied when speaking to the male half of the population, to the point of actually scaring them off. She and her two best friends from high school have just landed the score of their lives, front row tickets to the reunion tour of the rock band that defined their teens, Heaven. The next few months are a whirlwind. Her job as a venue marketing directer depends on the big concert selling out and the chances of that happening appear to be dismal. Meanwhile, a man from her past has found his way back into her life to the dismay of all who are closest to her. It could end with the culmination of all her dreams or she could crash and burn.
I have to admit the forward by the author explaining the origin of this novel really caught my attention. She is right, the idea of meeting your favorite high school band even after 15 years, is too good to pass up. I laughed at the description of Ollie’s teen bedroom. I had a shrine to Wham! and George Michael in my room as a teen. We all know how futile that teen crush would turn out to be, but my goodness he was just dreamy. I had the unfortunate luck to be drinking when I read Ollie’s mom began admonishing her about her obsession for Heaven. My poor computer bore the brunt of my spit take, as I nearly died giggling, remembering almost the exact conversation with my own mother, delivered with such abject seriousness, at the same age.
This novel had a couple of really fine points. The flashbacks to teenhood were done rather well, reminding us what is was like to have those teen celeb crushes that linger as what ifs long into adulthood. I also really appreciated the telling of the band’s story from each member’s perspective. It really gave the reader a chance to catch up with the band in a unique way, while not taking the focus of the story off of Ollie. Kudos to Ms. Knight for not making the band the stereotypical sex/drug gods imploding under the weight of their egos. I want to be a new fan of this band! Honestly the only sore point for me is the title. I am not sure dunces applies here.
This is definitely a book I would recommend to my friends. Young adult readers may also enjoy it, though I think it would appeal more to older readers with life and career experience.
I gratefully received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review