Battle of the Bands

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Candlewick | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Bookshop | Goodreads

16 Stories, 16 Dreams, One Epic Night.

Fifteen young adult authors and one real-life rock star band together for one epic—and interconnected—take on a memorable high school rite of passage.

A daughter of rock ’n’ roll royalty has a secret crush. A lonely ticket taker worries about his sister. An almost-famous songwriter nurses old wounds. A stage manager tires of being behind the scenes. A singer-songwriter struggles to untangle her feelings for her best friend and his girlfriend. In this live-out-loud anthology, the disparate protagonists of sixteen stories are thrown together for one unforgettable event: their high school’s battle of the bands. Told in a harmonic blend of first- and third-person narrative voices, roughly chronological short stories offer a kaleidoscopic view of the same transformative night. Featuring an entry from Justin Courtney Pierre, lead vocalist of Motion City Soundtrack, Battle of the Bands is a celebration of youth, music, and meeting the challenges of life head-on.

With stories by Brittany Cavallaro, Preeti Chhibber, Jay Coles, Katie Cotugno, Lauren Gibaldi, Shaun David Hutchinson, Ashley Poston, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Sarah Nicole Smetana, Eric Smith, Jenn Marie Thorne, Sarvenaz Taghavian, Jasmine Warga, Ashley Woodfolk, and Jeff Zentner, and featuring Motion City Soundtrack’s Justin Courtney Pierre.

Advance Praise:

I have battled in more than a few bands, and this book takes me back: the months of preparation, the pre-show nerves, the lights and sounds and competition. Battle of the Bands is an anthemic ode to the here and now and that frenzied notion that a person’s entire future hinges on one fateful night. It’s a credit to editors Gibaldi and Smith that the characters from each story interconnect in subtle and fascinating ways, and a credit to the authors that each story maintains its own unique identity. In this way, the book itself operates like a band, effortlessly folding multiple voices into a mighty (and mighty catchy) chorus. Check, check, one, two. This book will rock you.
—David Arnold, New York Times best-selling author of Mosquitoland and The Electric Kingdom

Empowering, hilarious, romantic, and wildly fun, Battle of the Bands perfectly captures both the magic of music and the drama of competition. It’s hands down my new favorite playlist.
—Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer and editor of His Hideous Heart