I’m Glad I Did

Cynthia Weil. Soho Teen, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61695-356-0
Grammy-winning songwriter Weil makes an impressive YA debut with this period novel set against the rapidly changing music industry of the early 1960s. Sixteen-year-old JJ Green dreams of being a songwriter, and opportunity knocks when a music publisher in New York City’s Brill Building offers her a three-month gig as an assistant. Unfortunately, her successful parents want her to follow in their footsteps and study law. They allow JJ to accept the position on one condition: if one of her songs isn’t recorded within three months, she “has to give up this crazy songwriting thing and never mention it again.” JJ embraces the challenge but is sidetracked by charismatic figures she meets at her job: a mysterious, green-eyed boy; her estranged Uncle Bernie, whose shady music business dealings have made him the black sheep of the family; and a once-famous blues singer, whose violent death leads to startling discoveries. Showing both the bright and the dark sides of the music business, Weil crafts an enticing tale of a sheltered teenager’s induction into a world where ambitions and morals are repeatedly tested. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/20/2014
Release date: 01/27/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-61695-574-8
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