Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata Blog Tour + Review

Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata
Publication Date: May 18th, 2014
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 208

Genre: YA Contemporary
At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it’s Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi’s overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie–the long-time object of her unrequited love–and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they’re quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.
Review: When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was already thrilled about the idea of getting to read it. Young adult? Check! Realistic Fiction? Check! Contemporary? Check! Yup, this has everything that I tend to look for when looking for a new YA book to read. Once again, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to receive the email asking if I would like to review the book for the blog tour, and I very happily (and quickly) accepted. And boy am I glad that I did now! I enjoyed this book. No, I would venture to say that I actually loved this book. It was wonderful, and I feel like it was one I could read again. I would be thrilled to read a sequel to it as well, in fact, even though I know things would probably be pretty complicated! 

We are introduced to four girls; Trudy, Cassie, Harumi, and Esther. They create a band together and become known as Screaming Divas. I absolutely love how different the four girls are, but how they all come together to become like sisters. That was one of my favorite things about the book, actually, seeing the differences in all of the girls. This book taught a very valuable lesson that all people, but especially young adults, need to learn; everyone is fighting their own battles, even if they are not the same ones as you. While the girls had different lifestyles, none of them were just breezing through life without any issues. Trudy was on her own without family that actually cared, Cassie was trying to get over her mother's death and accept herself, Harumi is struggling with the disappointment she has caused her parents, and Esther is trying to accept her sexuality. 

Of course, when you get four girls together there is plenty of drama. They are each dealing with their different boy problems, personal issues, and family situations. I love how each chapter focused on a different character, though they all fit together in one way or another. At the beginning I was worried that I was going to have a difficult time keeping up as I was being introduced to all of these different characters and being told their basic storyline, but it was not nearly as difficult as I had been expecting. Once I got through the first few chapters and had met all of the girls, it got much easier right away. 

Overall, Kamata did a wonderful job with this book and the characters. Each one had their own mood and tone, and I liked getting that as I read the book. Trudy responded in a different way (a very different one) than Harumi or Esther would, and that was what made them so great. I fell in love with all of the characters, and the ending was truly tragic and upsetting, but I think shows just what can happen when certain choices are made. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone, and I do hope that maybe their might be more to their story in the future.
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Back in the day, Suzanne Kamata spent a lot of time hanging out in a club in Columbia, South Carolina, much like the one in Screaming Divas. (The beat goes on . . .) She later wrote about musicians for The State newspaper, The Japan Times, and other publications. Now, she mostly writes novels. In her free time, she enjoys searching for the perfect fake fur leopard-print coat and listening to the Japanese all-girl band Chatmonchy. Her YA debut, Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible was named the 2013-2014 APALA YA Honor Book and Grand Prize Winner of the Paris Book Festival. For more info, visit or follow her on Twitter @shikokusue.

The Giveaway:

5 signed copies of Screaming Divas of Screaming Divas with five $25 gift cards. Open Internationally. Available when the book releases. 


  1. Great review, Tiffany! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the book. Thanks for being on the Screaming Divas blog tour!!!


  2. Thank you so much!


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