In the aftermath of Johnny’s accident, the Scar Boys regroup and begin performing as a band again. But too many members carry secrets that become barriers between them.
Cheyenne hides her pregnancy from Johnny. Harry buries his love for Cheyenne in the lyrics of a song. Johnny withdraws into his own vision for the band. Richie walks the fine line between keeping peace and staying out of the conflict.
Through answers to interview questions, the band members relate their experiences as the Scar Boys face bigger problems and more pressure than ever before. What began as Harry’s story now becomes the story of four teens bound together by music bigger than any of them.
The interview format breaks this story into sections in which each member attempts to answer a question. While the varied viewpoints added drama and depth, sometimes the unfiltered honesty in the answers was hard to buy. I found myself asking, is this really what someone would admit to a journalist?
That aside, the story packs some serious emotional punch. The story shows the band, once a cohesive whole, as it breaks down into four desperate, disillusioned teens and propels readers to the very center of each heartache. Make no mistake: it’s dark, it’s raw. It will grab you and refuse to let you look away until the last line of the last page. Vlahos leaves us with hope, though, after the long, dark night. As much as I liked Scar Boys, I think I liked this book better.
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.
When Cheyenne discovers she’s pregnant, she contemplates having an abortion. She describes going to a clinic where protestors gather. She refers to one protestor as “angry and confused.” Cheyenne does not have an abortion, but for personal, not moral, reasons.
At one point, she is lying down with Johnny, but nothing happens between them.
Brief mention of Cheyenne’s Catholic background.
Song lyrics describe a scene in which a boy commits suicide by hanging himself.
Cheyenne’s father is an alcoholic. One band member begins drinking alcohol heavily and performing drunk. Other band members are uncomfortable with the behavior, but no one seems able to stop it. Eventually the member agrees to get help.