Lee Matthew Goldberg
(Runaway Train, #2)
Publication date: August 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…
The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.
But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.
A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.
“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”– Kirkus Reviews on Runaway Train.
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
The first thing you need to know about Grenade Bouquets is that it is the second in a series. The first book, Runaway Train, was released in April 2021. While you don’t have to read Runaway Train prior to reading Grenade Bouquets, I will say that I think you will get much more out of this book if you do. You will have so more invested in the characters that you won’t want to put Grenade Bouquets down!
That being said, when I reviewed Runaway Train around its release date, I said:
I am happy to see that there is a sequel so I can make sure that Nico keeps on her chosen path, and maybe some of the people in her life get in order as well. I look forward to reading Grenade Bouquets soon!
Like in Runaway Train, I spent much of the book worrying about Nico. I’m a mom, I can’t help it. But at least this time she seemed to have a better relationship with the adults in her life. Baby steps for her, I guess. Without giving too much away, Nico still has a lot going on in her life and she is forced to make some pretty big decisions. I still want to give her a hug and help her along the way.
In Grenade Bouquets we are on tour and in the recording studio with the band of the same name. Having known a few 90’s grunge musicians back in the day, I found this look into the music scene really interesting. And speaking of grunge musicians, there are SO many pop culture references that your head will be spinning and you will be making yourself a playlist from the chapter titles alone!
One again, Lee Matthew Goldberg has filled my 90’s loving heart! With characters I care about, a fast-paced plot, and so many throwbacks I feel like I am in a time machine, Grenade Bouquets is an amazing follow-up to Runaway Train and well worth your time.
I give this book 4 Sips
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