Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Paradise" ~ Jill A. Alexander


Paradise
This is a sweet, coming of age story about Paisley, a girl drummer in the Waylon Slider Band, an otherwise all boy southern rock band from Texas.  All Paisley's ever wanted to do is to play the drums and get out of her small town.  She and her band mates have one shot to make it at Texapalooza in Austin but there's just one problem...they don't have a lead singer.  Well, that and Paisley can't let her mother know she's the band's drummer. 

To say that Paisley's mom is a control freak is an understatement. (Nightmare is more like it.)  She would go ballistic if she new about Paisley's involvement with the band.  She knows she plays in the school band but there's no way any daughter of hers would be allowed to hang out with people who play in bands. (They're nothing but good fer nuthin', beer drinkin' white trash.)  Mom claims she doesn't want her daughter's making the same mistakes she made, having to give up on their dreams and getting stuck in the same town for the rest of their lives, all because of "some boy." Nevermind, that her "some boy" is Paisley's Dad and a good husband and father.

The sad thing is that Paisley's mother doesn't have a clue about what she and her sister, Lacey's dreams really are.  Lacey has a decent singing voice and her mother has made it her life's ambition to make a singing career for her not realizing that's the last thing Lacey wants.  It's what Mother wants and that's all that matters. 

The boys in the band are decent guys all with dreams too but without the egos.  Waylon, the band's namesake, comes from a famous music family and feels the pressure to make the band a success.  Levi enjoys playing guitar but has dreams of playing baseball at college and Cal, the bands main songwriter is into skateboards and harbors a secret crush on Paisley.  Then there's the newcomer, Paradise...he's the hot, new lead singer with the smokin' squeezebox. (Squeezebox = accordian, in case you didn't know, like me.)

When Paradise shows up on the scene, everything changes, from the band's sound, vocals and pretty much life in general as Paisley's known it.  The band stands to learn a lot from him, as does Paisley, the most important being how to live life "wide-open".  He learns from them that living fearless means not being afraid to say "no" when you need too.

Paisley's journey to achieve her dreams could take her to places she never though possible but dreams are also not without hard work and sacrifice and she'll have to decide just how much is she willing to give up?  She'll also discover that paradise isn't always where you end up, but where you left.

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