Tuesday, January 15, 2013

'Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad' Book Tour & Review

Naomi Rabinowitz

Shy, overweight Melinda Rhodes' sophomore year of high school isn't going so well. Her mother mocks her weight. She spends her weekends holed up in her room making what her friend calls "Freaky eyeball paintings." Her pants split in the middle of school, earning her the nickname, "Moolinda." She then loses first chair flute in band to Kathy Meadows, the pretty and popular mean girl who's tormented Mel for years.
Her luck changes when she catches the eye of sexy hottie Josh Kowalski, a rebellious trumpet prodigy and class clown. Josh has also been hurt by Kathy and asks Melinda to help take Kathy down. Mel figures that she has nothing to lose ... and Josh is adorable with gorgeous blue eyes and a winning smile. She agrees to team up with him and looks forward to finally getting back at her rival.

At first, the pair's pranks against Kathy are silly, and as they work together, Mel comes out of her shell. Wild, impulsive Josh gets her to do things she'd never done before and Mel enjoys being a bad girl. Even better, she and Josh fall in love and their teen romance blossoms.

However, as their schemes become more involved and dangerous, Mel begins to question her loyalty to Josh -- and is surprised to find how dark her dark side really is. Just how far will she be willing to go to get what she wants -- and is keepng Josh really worth the risk of going against her beliefs?

Read an excerpt:
Josh is a junior and is pretty cute with his shaggy, light-brown hair and deep blue eyes. But the feature that stands out -— at least to his many female admirers —- is the lopsided grin he flashes whenever something amuses him.
When it comes to Josh, though, he thinks everything is a joke. He's a musical prodigy and plays trumpet even better than Mr. Francis does, but insists on sitting last chair. If our conductor forces him to audition, Josh will purposely make mistakes. He claims that it's because he doesn't believe in the auditioning process, but I think he just enjoys getting a rise out of Mr. Francis.
Meantime, Josh shows about the same amount of respect in the rest of his classes. Though he aced his PSATs and gets straight A's without studying, he often skips classes. When he is there, he's always pulling pranks on his teachers. One time he brought a lawn chair to math, then plopped down in it holding a beer as if he were at the beach (he got a week's suspension for that). Another time he locked his English sub out of the room when she was clueless enough to step outside (that only got him a week's detention). Last year, he even got us a day off from school. When workers began fixing the roof, several students complained about the fumes but the school refused to let us go home. So what did Josh do? He alerted the media about our "plight." Not wanting to look bad, Principal Muller was forced to let us stay home until the roof was fixed. Needless to say, Josh became the school's hero

**My thoughts**

I loved this book. I was able to relate to Melinda right off the bat. Josh is totally the kind of guy I enjoyed hanging out with in high school. In some ways, I wish I could have told off the Mean Girls just as easily back then. Some of their antics actually have you laughing out loud.

At the same time, Melinda learns some very important lessons. Sometimes those Mean Girls are actually suffering just as much, if not more, inside. Sometimes, you just need to rise above them and be the bigger person. Kill them with kindness and ignore them being total bitches. Fight for what is rightfully yours, but don't trample others to get it.

I want to hate Melinda's parents, especially her mom who is so mean to her about her weight. They got lucky and redeem themselves during the story.

This is one I will probably reread.


Naomi Rabinowitz has always loved being creative. Raised in Nesconset, NY -- a suburb on Long Island -- she was introduced to the arts at an early age. Her mother, Joyce, is a pianist; her father, Melvin, plays piano and guitar; her grandmother, Esther, was a talented knitter; her late grandfather, Morris, was a violinist; her late great uncle, Sid Robin, was a well-known jazz musician, who penned the lyrics to the popular big band hit, "Undecided."

Naomi's parents, who were both teachers, frequently took her to museums and concerts. During their summers off, her family traveled. By the time she was 15, Naomi had been to several European countries, as well as China, Japan, Israel, Egypt, Russia and Mexico.

Naomi's love for writing emerged when she was in the second grade and her poem, "The Four Seasons," won first prize in a local literary competition. She became interested in journalism in junior high when her English class was selected to write for Newsday's "Kidsday" column. 

She had as much passion for music. Though she began playing piano when she was three, she switched to her "true" instrument, the flute, when she was nine and eventually added tenor sax and clarinet to her list so that she could play in jazz band. She performed in almost every musical group from wind ensemble to orchestra (but never marching band!). In 2008, she released her jazz album FLUTE PATH.

Naomi received a B.A. in English from Binghamton University and an M.A. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. From 1998-2012, she worked as a reporter/editor for national TV magazine Soap Opera Digest.

These days, Naomi writes, plays jazz flute and designs jewelry for her businesses Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations. She lives in Queens, NY with her husband, Jonathan, and their cat, Maya.


* Twitter: @NaomiRDesigns
Naomi will be awarding a prize package of her Flute Path CD and a pair of handcrafted music earrings to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Thanks for the great review -- and for taking the time to read and write about my book! I'm glad that you enjoyed it!!!


  2. That was a nice review.


  3. i like the looks of your writing. i will have to pick up the book as soon as i get a job