Skip to main content

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

Summary: A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily? (Goodreads)

Emily Black has been following the music just like her mom has all her life. Louisa left her husband and daughter when the fear of her badness would fill them up and destroy them like it destroyed her. Michael Black has been waiting for his wife since she left him one fateful night. Molly has always longed for her best friend to back home to her and her family.

Emily is really messed up. She tries to become her mother who she's always yearned for. Her father has been good to her though. He has always taken care of her though he is kind of oblivious to what she does in her teenage years and those things really made me want to stop reading already. And it was like just the first chapter! I would have missed amazingness (I don't care if it's not a word!) but I'll explain why I felt that way. What you need to know is that this book is not appropriate for younger children. At all. The first chapter showed that. She was just having sex with Rock Gods well wannabe ones in the beginning and it was talking about her having sex.... gross I know but just read on! I also felt like a prude but I guess that's how I am. The sex, smoking, and drinking in the beginning were annoying me. I just think that is so stupid. Choices can make you or break you and I would never do anything stupid like that to ruin the goals in my life. See? I do sound like a prude. Whatever.

This book which I didn't expect goes from Emily's perspective to Louisa's perspective. Good job Stephanie! I never thought about it doing that but it makes the book so much more complicated and... better! So Emily's father kind of bothered me.He was cool but kind of sad. He didn't really live. He just waited and seemed depressed to me. He lived for his daughter which was nice but still sad. I wish he just went crazy sometimes or went on a trip or something! Not for his daughter but for himself. He still wore his wedding ring all those years. That's devotion. Still... she didn't deserve it. I'm sure from his perspective it was worth it.

Louisa explains why she left and at the beginning I really could understand why she left. (It was a whoa moment when I read it). But, at the end I thought yeah. No. It wasn't a good enough excuse especially for how long she left. It was maddening. She moves from city to city and she can't forgive herself and she always thinks she's doing her husband and daughter a favor but she is dying inside from it. She feels so much pain from it. A little too much for me but then again my mother never left me and she basically idolized her and her father did as well so she always seemed perfect and tough to her.

Emily's a singer and musician. She starts a band with her best friend (Molly's daughter who has her own probems during the story) and her best friend's boyfriend (a boy from a very conservative family). She has a boyfriend herself - Johnny or like she nicknamed him Johnny Threat. He changes the direction of her life in a way that really pulls you in to the story even more. This book pulled me in a way I never thought it would in the beginning of the story. I was going to stop reading it! *gasp*. I am SO glad I didn't. It was so much more than I thought it would be and it surprised me so much. It was the book that I expected from the summary but so much more. Books are always so much more. Fantastic book! Read it!!! :D

Comments