I’m just beginning to see historical books set in the 1980s and 1990s, and it makes me feel a little old and a little like coming home. Here’s a stellar example.
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Are Books Set in the 1990s Historical Fiction?
I don’t know about you, but seeing new releases set in the 1990s and 1980s makes me feel a little old. Although my students are also just beginning to choose spirit days where they ‘dress like someone from the 90s’ or ‘wear clothes from the 80s.’ Back during my high school days, we like to dress up like the folks from the 50s. Wait. It all makes sense now! I finished high school in ’83.
But back to this innovative book set in the late 80s by Erin Bartles. I love everything about it. Instead of chapters, it has Liner Notes (the prologue), Sides A and B (Part One and Two), Tracks, and a Bonus Track (Epilogue). If you listened to records in the 80s, you’ll understand.
Bartles provides a feast of words and sounds—and all the emotions that accompany them.
By Erin Bartels, Fleming H. Revel, January 17, 2023, 352 pages.
For most of his life, Michael Sullivan’s uncle has called him bad luck. Dragging around familial blame can really knock a guy down. Michael starts believing what he hears—after all, his band kicked him out, he has to move in with his loser uncle, and he has a dead-end job at a hardware store.
While the rest of the world seems on the verge of just beginning new things, Michael just feels stuck. This may explain why he decides to use his uncle’s invitation to the neighbor’s swanky New Year’s Eve party in a last-ditch effort to turn his luck around. He’s not stealing; Michael shares a name with his uncle.
At the party, he pins his hopes on meeting Dusty Wheeler, a legendary music producer. Instead, he brushes shoulders with famous people and meets the most intriguingly beautiful girl he’s ever seen.
Michael starts to feel wanted, valued, and worthy for the first time in his life. The closer he grows to the Wheeler family, the more this feeling grows. But his deadbeat dad, looser uncle, and unstable mom all have the power to drag Michael down.
What I Loved About This Book
Erin Bartels makes me want to write and perform music—even though I need a bucket to carry my tune. I want to crawl under her warm word blanket and linger longer over the world of West Arbor Hills, where Michael lives in a trashed trailer and the girl across the street lives in a mansion. Where failure meets hope and pride meets death.
Readers will find themselves immersed in winsome words, magical music, and a seemingly random relationship between two lonely people who each have what the other needs. Fans of Amy Lynn Green and Laura Melchor will love this book.Don't miss this feast of words and music from Erin Bartles and @RevellBooks! #amreading #wordlovers Click To Tweet