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Cross, Gillian.
New York : Holiday House, 1987
ISBN 0823406474
Janis Mary Finch, a sixteen-year-old living just outside London, hates her life.  She is no good in school, she’s constantly fighting with her mother, she despises her future stepfather, and she has no idea what she wants to do with her life.  After a particularly bad fight with her mom, Janis escapes to a local café.  It is here that she meets the group that will change her life.  They invite her to sing in their band, Kelp.  Janis considers the offer and decides to leave school and her family behind.  Janis becomes simply Finch, a not-exactly-pretty singer with a bad attitude.  She clashes with Christie (short for Christopher), the band’s accepted leader.  He pushes and pushes Finch into his image of what a rock singer should be.  Finch and Christie develop a kind of love-hate relationship.  They love to spar, and they appear to hate each other. But when they sing together, there is musical magic.                    
                    "When Christie’s answering bars came back, they made a link.  An invisible cord that tightened as we sang, drawing the next notes out of me.  And the next and the next.  The audience felt it too and, for the first time on that tour, they responded to us.  There’s no mistaking that alertness, that special silence.  It lifted me up and up, so that…I began to hear the blood thumping in my ears. And all the time the space between me and Christie was shrinking and the charge was growing.  He is so still on stage that I was hardly aware of him moving.  His eyes stared at me almost without a blink and his body seemed to be the single motionless thing at the centre of all the noise.  But all the time we drew nearer to each other, until we were together inside a bubble of sound that cut us off from everyone else in the theatre."
               Like I said…magic.  The band experiences a meteoric rise to fame, but, when things are starting to seem okay, tragedy strikes.  Will the band survive?  What will happen between Finch and Christie?  Discover the answers when you read Chartbreaker, a tale of aggression, depression, devastation, and, most importantly music, by Gillian Cross.  (Kelly Knight,, USC School of Library and Information Science, Columbia, SC)
SUBJECTS:     Rock music -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.


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