Charlie Carillo

One Hit Wonder by Charlie Carillo

I wrote about Charlie Carillo’s other book, “Raising Jake” a few months back.  He had actually found my blog post and commented on it and mentioned that he had another book coming out in the fall.  I looked for it on Amazon recently and was disappointed to see it was only out in paperback.  A week or so later, I checked again and it was available for the Kindle.  Yay!

In “One Hit Wonder“, Mickey DeFalco is a washed up former pop star.  He had a hit song out in 1988 called “Sweet Days” that he wrote about Lynn, his sweetheart that he met when they were in high school.  He was head over heels in love with Lynn, the daughter of the local fire chief and hero who once rescued a boy from a burning building.  Mickey and Lynn spent most of that summer together until one night, Lynn was acting strange and the next day, Mickey woke up to found that Lynn ran away from home.  And never came back.

The song was written, Mickey was discovered by a classmate’s father who was a manager for a record company, and he became a huge star almost overnight.  After the 15 minutes of fame wore off, Mickey was broke (his quickie marriage and divorce to the co-star of the very short-lived TV show based on his song cost him half of his fortune) and homeless.  After living in LA for 18 or so years, Mickey had nowhere else to go but back home to Queens.

When Mickey returns home, he takes the same job he had back in high school – mowing lawns.  Mickey starts to redevelop the awkward relationship with his parents and starts to bond with his father in a way that he never had before.  He recounts some situations that put him into the mess that his life currently is, while always wondering what happened to Lynn; he’s still in love with her.

I thought that this was a fantastic read.  Like Carillo’s other book, it is a great book for either men or women to read.  Mickey seems like such a realistic character and you know that there are other one hit wonders (or 15-minutes-of-famers) out there that are back living with their parents and working a minimum wage job.  The book took some unexpected turns that kept me turning the page (or clicking the “next page” button on the Kindle, whatever).  I can only hope that Charlie Carillo plans to release another book next year!

Oh, and also, there was a very very very minor character mentioned in the book that has the same Polish last name as me.  I got really excited when I saw that.

Raising Jake by Charlie Carillo

Raising Jake” probably isn’t a book that I would have normally picked up off of a bookstore shelf… it didn’t really call out to me as being something that I’d find interesting.  It had been free on the Kindle (of course) a few months back so I figured I’d give it a chance.  And I’m glad that I did.

Contrary to popular belief, I do read books that are non-chick books!  The two main characters in this book are men.   “Raising Jake” is about a divorced, middle-aged tabloid writer named Sammy and his teenage son, Jake (hence the name of the book).  The story starts out with Sammy being fired from his job and Jake being kicked out of prep school.  I should mention that the two don’t have that great of a relationship.  Since they now have some free time on their hands, Sammy decides to take Jake on a little weekend trip back to his old neighborhood in Queens to show him what kind of life he had growing up.  As the two men start to bond over the tales of Sammy’s childhood, Jake pushes Sammy to face some issues that he had tried to push out of his memory but that he eventually has to face.

Like many other reviews of this book that you may find online, I don’t want to give away too many details of the story because that is one of the great things about this book – you are wondering what comes next.  As I mentioned above, this is definitely not a chick book, however I am sure that women and men alike would enjoy the story of the father-son bonding that takes place and their personal growth that comes along with it.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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