Thursday, January 17, 2013

BLOG TOUR - EXCERPT, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad by Naomi Rabinowitz

Shy, overweight Melinda Rhodes' sophomore year of high school isn't going so well. Her own mother mocks her weight. Her pants split in the middle of school, earning her the nickname, "Moolinda." She then loses first chair flute in band to Kathy Meadows, her pretty and popular nemesis.

Her luck changes when she catches the eye of 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 are silly, and as they work together, Mel comes out of her shell. Even better, she finds herself falling for Josh and it appears as if he might feel the same way about her.

However, their schemes become more and more dangerous and Mel is surprised to discover her dark side. Just how far will she go to get what she wants -- and is Josh really worth the risk?


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.

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.

Links: Amazon l Blog l Facebook l Twitter l Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Melinda is having a hard time at school, being teased and ridiculed for her weight. Her classmates call her Moolinda and this is definitely not done with subtlety or on the sly. One of the main offenders is fellow bandmate and flutist Kathy. When Melinda loses her first chair spot to Kathy she is devastated!!! But then out of the blue the class clown, gorgeous, popular trumpet playing Josh Kowalski approaches her with a plan to exact revenge on Kathy. At first Mel is hesitant but she goes along with Josh's plans and in the process gets to spend quality time with josh and a solid friendship is formed. The more time they spend together, the more Mel falls for Josh and she is surprised to find that he could feel the same way about her.

As Kathy's taunts escalate so does Mel's need for revenge. It doesn't help that her mum is on the ridicule wagon about Mel's weight as well. This sets in motion a chain of events which lead Mel to question her need for revenge but it also brings to light some secrets that Josh has been keeping!!

I have to say that this was just such a great book!! I loved every minute of it. I loved the growth of Mel. She went from a girl who has shy and timid and had major self worth issues to a girl who was much more confident and sure of herself. 

And Josh... What can I say about Josh... I loved his passion for music and life in general. I loved his quirkiness and his ability to have fun. I loved that he saw such beauty in Mel. I loved their friendship. I loved his need to protect and care for her even if at times he went about it the wrong way.

And then we have Mel's mum. Oh, how I really didn't like her and the nasty things she said to Mel.  She just made me cringe with her choice of words so many times!! Even when Mel lost weight it just wasn't enough  and she just couldn't find it in herself to be supportive!!

All in all Revenge of a Band Geek Gone Bad, was a fantastic and enjoyable read. Naomi Rabinowitz, writes with such ease and creates characters who are extremely relatable. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!!

4.5/5 Stars!!

GIVEAWAY: 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. So the more stops you comment on, the greater your chance of winning!! You can find the rest of the tour stops HERE


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

    1. Good luck in the giveaway Laurie!! Thanks for stopping by!! :)

  2. Thanks so much for the great review!!!! Fun fact: all of those things that Josh does in that excerpt (the beer in the classroom, etc.) are things that my hubby, Jon, did in real life as a teen! @Laurie -- thank you. Good luck with the job search.


    1. Really! I love it even more knowing that all that actually happened!! :)

  3. Very nice review about the characters.



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