Review of: Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers
Release date: May 27th 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Johnny has had a bit of a tough life so far and he has always been somewhat of a freak. When he was younger his father died and his mother completely fell apart. Johnny had to learn how to pay the bills and practically take care of the both of them. When Johnny ended up falling in to the Goth scene his mother somehow came out of her funk and became all concerned for Johnny. All Johnny wants to do is party with his friends and drink. But one night at a club this girl gives him some sort of drug when all he wanted was an aspirin and he heads up in the hospital from a drug overdose.
Of course after the overdose his mother sends him to rehab and while there Johnny discovers Debbie Harry of Blondie singing in French. He is immediately taken aback. Debbie's voice blows him away and of course she's a complete bombshell.
After Johnny gets back from rehab things are a bit weird between him and his mother and his mother can't really handle it so she sends him away to live with his Uncle Sam and his daughter Bug in South Carolina. Johnny is flaming angry at first but once there realizes that his Uncle is pretty great and Bug is an awesome little kid. And of course, there's Maria Costello (as in Elvis). She's an interesting girl who Johnny takes a liking to pretty quickly. When Maria discovers Johnny's love of Debbie, and that secretly Johnny wants to be like her, she buys this dress that looks like one of Debbie's and tells Johnny about a drag contest in New York. At first Johnny doesn't know whether she's serious or if she's making fun of him.
With trying to practice for the contest, helping Bug with projects for school, getting bullied around nonstop by some guys who used to be Maria's friends, and dealing with the fact that his mother can't handle him Johnny has a lot on his plate.
This was a great debut novel by Meagan Brothers. It puts you inside the head of a pretty confused young man. Things are tough enough for teenagers in the first place but when you throw in the loss of a parent things can be even more tough. The title had me intrigued when I first picked up this book and it didn't let me down. Johnny was a really great in depth character and so was Maria. If you're in the mood for reading about a slightly troubled boy who turns to Debbie Harry, and of course his girlfriend Maria, to stop him from starting to drink again then this is a great book for you.