Book Review: How to Kill a Rockstar

How to Kill a Rock StarHow to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

People often say that when a book incites riotous anger the author should be proud for inspiring such emotions. I call bullshit! I say, when a book brings you around the world of emotions, an author should be proud. How to Kill a Rock Star took me around the world and back again.

I laughed - a lot - with this book. In fact, I'm not sure if Paul or Eliza made me laugh more or just the people around them. Paul is out of his damn mind! He's just like how you imagine a talented rock star to be, actual talent. Talent that seeps from his pores and not just musically. It never falters, even at his weakest point. The character development is so through and through I'm not convinced Tiffanie DeBartolo didn't write an auto-bio after taking some psych evals and watching herself on video for a while.

I got angry - wickedly so - with this book. I went so far as to call Eliza the c-word for some (all) of her behavior about 60% into the book. I could not believe her! Ordinarily, if a book is written in 3P, you can overlook serious judgement errors. But when you can clearly see that the characters knows they fucked up, it makes you pull on your hair and text your best mates about the harbinger of doom in matching skivvies. Alas, I have to admit I LOVED being that pissed at her. Well, not her as if she were an actual person, but the plot line in the story. There was a sublime feeling in the come down from that rage. Bringing me to my next point.

I bawled - like a fucking head case - with this book. Honest to God tears and sobs. I could not get a grip on the overwhelming sense of loss I felt when Eliza pushed Paul to his limit. I could not comprehend how I wasn't going to take my iPad and shove it into the fireplace to dry and send my offering of shock and pain up in ashes. I was so close to the end and I had to put it down and take a break. My dog was trying to lick my tears and I ended up watching a couple episodes of Criminal Minds to clear my head. Finally...

I grinned - like a cheshire cat - with this book. I.Do.Not.Know.How. But TDB made it so that I don't actually hate Eliza now. I just dislike her strongly. And at the end of it all, the journey is obvious, the pieces line up and the culmination is fucking heady. It's an "epilogue" without seeming choppy and finalized or left wide open. But the nature of the story leaves you feeling like anything could happen for them and anything will.

At the end of the year, I'll pick my top 5 books and this is already slotted somewhere in there. I loved it and I want my friends to read it so we can trade inside jokes and laugh-rage-bawl-grin together!


View all my reviews

Snshyne Tymes: Anonymity What's It To Ya?


Anonymity What's It To Ya?


The subject and angle of this blog post came up when I was talking to a fellow writer friend who got a rather scathing anonymous comment on a story review or a blog or something, I can’t remember specifically now. Anyway, as we talked about it I thought, “why? what’s it to the poster to rage anonymously?” 

No, really. I don’t get it. What kind of satisfaction do you get from telling someone they suck without putting your name on it it? Don’t you think it would feel better to take ownership of what you’ve said? Have some moxie to back up your words? Forcing the person you’re taking it out on to credit you when they bitch back or talk about it? And if you have a personal bone to pick, the person you’ve anonymously picked a bone with has no idea you even have an issue. Yes, we have often assumed the role of Edward, but we cannot actually read minds.

There are tons and tons of arguments and posts and rants about the subject of anonymous posting in the fandom. Author’s lose their shit when they get an anonymous flame for a story or when Andro (aka anonymous poster of anonymous sex) posts a comment on a blog post. 

In the eighth grade my therapist used to make me hit a chair with a tennis racket. It was some lame attempt at getting me to work out some anger issues. One night after therapy, my mother asked me what I did during my sessions. I distinctly remember telling her, “she makes me beat up a chair to get rid of my anger, but I’m not mad at the chair.” For the record, I still carry that anger today. My point is, posting anonymously can’t be truly satisfying. It’s an empty release because it’s incomplete. The person you rant at, (rarely) love on, or flame has no idea it’s you.


The Internet affords people the ability to hide, to reinvent themselves, don totally new personalities. A lot of us have done that here and for various reasons - wscapism, just a place to exit a world where you have to do dishes or homework, to experiment in writing or stalk Twi-celebs. But there is a difference in having a screen name or a pen name and assuming that identity to write and communicate within a community and hiding anonymously within the community like a giant, ugly fraidy cat. I mean one of those with the manges and fleas and a terrible case of gas. At least I know if I post something as snshyne or if I post it as Nai, it’s me. It goes back to me and can be identified as whatever bullshit I happen to be spouting at the time. I have to take the good, the bad and the nothing that can come from something I post. But to do it anonymously would give me nothing but a fucking headache. It’s not brave, it’s not even cowardly. It’s stupid. You’re only fooling yourself. 

And that’s my real point here, at some point you have to realize that no matter how hard or how many times you hit the goddamn chair with a fucking tennis racket, you’re still gonna be pissed off.

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