cover image 6X: The Uncensored Confessions

6X: The Uncensored Confessions

Nina Malkin, . . Scholastic, $8.99 (278pp) ISBN 978-0-439-72421-0

Through "video diaries," the four members of the band 6X tell how they got together and about their quick rise to fame, leading to the release of their first album. The premise is enticing, and the character's voices are truly distinct, from Kendall, the southern Christian lead singer, to fiery, Brooklyn-raised bassist Stella. Each character has a lot of soul-searching to do, and they struggle with problems both predictable (such as a romance between Kendall and A/B, the sole male member), and unique (Wynn is "perplexed" because she doesn't feel anything for the guys she kissed nor does she seem able to give herself physical pleasure). The band's discovery that Wynn has been writing songs reads as a lucky coincidence, and a plot line about Kendall's online relationship with a man who turns out to be her scheming father seems far-fetched and creepy. But, mostly, the author mixes well the glamour of being in a band (performing, signing autographs, partying with groupies) with a darker picture of rock star life: Wynn is nearly seduced by a slimy label executive, the band is treated badly at the first video shoot, and Kendall becomes more obsessed with her own fame. The surprising ending leaves readers with plenty of questions, making them wonder about—and likely hope for—a follow-up to this fun debut. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)