The Wretched Gretchens will shatter your eardrums, and they’re not going to apologize. But the teen all-girl band is facing an inevitable breakup. Lead singer Charlie, who croons like Patsy Cline on steroids, is leaving
A prom-night battle of the bands victory snags the Wretched Gretchens the opening slot on a West Coast tour with Rorschach, indie darlings hoping to mimic the airy charm of their debut album. Charlie seizes the chance to make her last summer with her best friends matter, even if it means abandoning the unrequited crush all her songs are about.
Charlie’s not the only one running away. Beautiful but impetuous guitarist Roxanne wants to forget the high school diploma she didn’t exactly finish, and Rorschach’s frontman, a golden-voiced Texan with curls luscious as Jim Morrison’s, is a sexy distraction. Earnest Layla, Roxanne’s younger sister, wants a song with a killer bass solo and a closeness with the sister who always pushes her away. And fresh-from-therapy drummer M.J. escapes a secret she can’t even tell her friends--if only every city on the tour would quit reminding her about it. Exhausting shows, all-night parties and piercing heartbreaks strain the increasingly fragile bonds of the Gretchens’ sisterhood as they struggle with what binds them beyond the love of a catchy hand-clap chorus.
RIP HER TO SHREDS is contemporary YA complete at 73,000 words and told from alternating third-person perspectives.
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RIP HER TO SHREDS
In the green room, she’d be herself again.
Away from the cymbals clanging in her ears and the bass trembling in her belly, she’d be Charlie the dork. Charlie the siren, that girl who shimmied and gyrated and crooned like she knew how to string sentences together, would be dead. The real Charlotte Bray usually fumbled through basic conversations. She was the one who wanted to lose. She was the one who wanted it all to be over.
Charlie clamped the mic back onto the stand, turned her back on the applause and hurried off the stage. Safety. Finally.
But Roxanne Young collapsed onto the couch first, and Charlie watched her skillfully maneuver around the scrubbed-out stain that was once dirt or vomit or something more sinister.
Roxanne hugged her blue Ibanez guitar to her lap. “Well. We were f****** awful,” she said, dragging her lucky pick along the E string she’d re-fitted earlier that day and propping her legs onto her amp. “Weren’t we?” she asked, waiting for someone to deny it.
The rest of The Wretched Gretchens rushed the green room. The air conditioning was on full-blast, but after baking under the lights on stage, Charlie welcomed the breeze, and she could tell at least two of her bandmates badly needed to reapply their deodorant. Charlie tried not to think about her own sticky armpits and claimed her own cushion on the couch, careful not to invade her best friend’s personal space.