cover image Wild Hearts

Wild Hearts

Cherie Bennett. Pocket Books, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-86513-9

Like Modern Love (see above), this first installment of the planned Wild Hearts series centers on a topic near and dear to the MTV generation. Here it is rock 'n' roll that adds the all-important hip edge to the narrative. Convinced that she will never like anything about her new life in Nashville, former New Yorker Jane sets about alienating all the conformist ``pastel people'' at her new high school. However, Jane's preconceptions about country music and Tennessee are challenged when she is befriended by ebullient Savannah and invited to play drums in the pit band for the school play. When a date with Wyatt, a selfish but wildly attractive fellow musician, turns into a reputation-scarring disaster, Jane turns to the girls in the band for support and understanding. After this, it only takes a stellar opening night, a bit of soul-baring and a fairly contrived confrontation with Wyatt's furious, hell-raising girlfriend for Jane and her new pals to realize that they are destined to form their own all-girl band, Wild Hearts, thus setting the stage for many sequels to come. Nashville provides a distinctive setting, while Jane's wisecracking, first-person narrative (``It is a simple fact of life: most parents are excruciating'') sets a rapid tempo. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)