YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: December 22nd 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (3.5/5 stars)

Synopsis: With a summer job at Bob & Bob Records in Berkeley, California, teen music junkie Allie is ready for anything. She’s poised to fall in love, catch a thief, and make a mix that’ll break your heart. And when she blogs as The Vinyl Princess, Allie is the sort of mystery girl you can’t resist tuning into. Get ready for the vinyl revolution!

Author Yvonne Prinz, cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world’s biggest independent music store chain, brings readers into the inspired, obsessive, irrepressible heart of a teen who is head-over-heels in love with music. Like a great record, this read will rock your soul and rattle your bones.

Review: I was very excited to read The Vinyl Princess because it has three of my favorite things: music, blogging, mystery (and a little romance).

Told in the first person, present tense, Allie has a strong and opinionated voice. Her passion for vinyl is evident and as you read, you can see why she calls herself The Vinyl Princess. Her character is easy to relate to. The novel is set in a unique and interesting premise. Allie works in Bob and Bob Records, named after Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. Unlike some YA books, Allie’s mom is present throughout the entire novel and her grandmother makes appearances several times. It is refreshing to see how parents are portrayed in this novel. Allie’s mom and dad are divorced and her dad remarried. But her mother is still dating. The relationship between Allie and her mom would be described as sweet. They get along really well and it doesn’t seem forced.

Character development was generally satisfactory, except for one guy. His character was not developed and weak. I had no idea how Allie could have a crush on him. I don’t want to give the plot away so I won’t further elaborate on that. I liked Suki, the tenant, staying at Allie’s house. To Allie, Suki is a ghost as she never leaves her room. Reading Allie’s witty hilarious remarks left me laughing the whole way.

Unfortunately, the book loses points when the plot became predictable. If you don’t mind the predictability, go ahead and read it! I think this book will be meaningful to readers who love listening to music from the 80s, or basically for people who are anti-Avril/Beyonce/Lady Gaga/Pink. Don’t get me wrong, I love pop music but Allie has a strong preference for music like David Bowe, Julie London, Jimi Hendrix, Cannonball Adderly, the Beatles, anything that is available in vinyl. She also has a strong dislike for people who own iPods.

The whole novel was just a mix of everything, sometimes, unexpected things happen but you will keep reading because this novel is delightfully funny and definitely recommended to every music lover. If you loved I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert, you will love this too.

The Vinyl Princess is now available in stores and online retailers. Check out www.thevinylprincess.com to learn more about the book and read her blog!


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