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How to Kill a Rock Star

How to Kill a Rock Star - Tiffanie DeBartolo Have you ever heard a song that changed you? Maybe it gave you new perspective on something that you were going through at that time or maybe it just inspired you.

Eliza Caelum was four years old when music started shaping her life. At twenty-six, her life is definitely not headed in the direction that she thought it would take. An encounter with her elusive music idol changes everything for her--and sets the stage for this amazing story.

After receiving a job offer for a prestigious magazine, Eliza moves from Cleveland to Manhattan, where her brother, Michael, already lives with his wife, Vera. Michael arranges for Eliza to move into his recently vacated apartment with Paul Hudson, the enigmatic and manwhorish lead singer and songwriter of his struggling band, Bananafish.

Now stop right there. I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking it, too. You already know what’s going to happen, right? Michael will warn Eliza that Paul’s no good for her; Eliza won’t listen; they’ll hook up and he’ll let his rise to fame interfere with their relationship, leaving her broken-hearted until he swoops back in and saves the day. You’ve read that story a thousand times.

I’m telling you right now--you’ve never read anything like this.

At it’s very basic, the above-referenced scenario is exactly how this story starts out. Eliza meets Paul and she just can’t help herself. She tries to fight it.
”Eliza, do I make you nervous?”


He took a step forward. “Then why are you shaking?”

I lowered my chin, swallowed hard, but said nothing.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he said. “I can’t be responsible for what happens in the next thirty seconds if you keep looking at me like that.”

“Get out of the way.”

“First you have to pay the toll.”

Reaching around the back of my head, Paul leaned forward and planted his mouth on mine. He kissed me until he ran out of air, took a quick breath, kissed me again, and was grinning wildly when he finally set me free.

It occurred to me then that he kissed the same way he ran up the stairs--fiercely, passionately, and with complete commitment.

They are soul mates, truly, bonding over music and everything else that matters in life.
I am of the theory that all of our transcendental connections, anything we’re drawn to, be it a person, a song, a painting on a wall--they’re magnetic. The art is the alloy, so to speak. And our souls are equipped with whatever properties are required to attract that alloy. I’m no scientist so I don’t really know what the hell these properties are, but my point is we’re drawn to stuff that we’ve already got a connection to. Part of the thing is already inside of us.

That’s what I mean when I say fate. Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.

They fall in love--desperately, madly in love:

...trying to describe how I felt watching her dance around and sing would be like trying to build a skyscraper with my bare hands. It made me want to marry her. Made me want to buy her a magic airplane and fly her away to a place where nothing bad could ever happen. Made me want to pour rubber cement all over my chest and then lay down on top of her so that we’d be stuck together, and so it would hurt like hell if we ever tried to tear ourselves apart.

I really love the way this story is told. It’s mostly from Eliza’s point of view, and the way she words things is just--I don’t have the words. It’s visceral and has a truth that you can feel in your bones. There are a few chapters of Paul’s point of view, as told to his voice recorder. He’s an artist in every sense of the word and made me swoon, even when I didn’t want to--even when I wanted to kick him in the balls, I wanted to hold him and tell him how to fix it. There are also a few chapters that are in third-person, which was helpful.

I’m not gonna lie. Parts of this book had me sobbing into my pillow. BUT I think that’s one of the things that is soooo amazing about this author. She takes us from laugh-out-loud funny to heart-wrenching, punch-you-in-the-gut angst and every emotion in between.

How to Kill a Rockstar is multi-faceted, with characters that are so real. I found myself cursing decisions that each of them made--wanting to shake some sense into them and beg them to reconsider their actions. They were all so much more than words on a page. I felt like I knew them.

I got this story recommendation from Bri, and after trying to come up with the best way to tell you the way I feel about this story, I realize that she already said it for me:

The characters in this had me head over heels from the beginning. Eliza is easy to relate to, Paul is easy to foam at the mouth over, and Loring is...well, I was torn for a lot of this book - let's leave it at that.

What this book boils down to is finding yourself, opening yourself up to new possibilities, and facing your fears. While this one was great on the initial read, I predict it will be even better on the re-read.

I didn’t have a “favorites” bookshelf before, but I created one, just so I could have a place for this book. If you are looking for a story that has it all--sex, love, and rock ‘n roll, then look no further. Without question, this is must-read.