Summary: Alex and his garage band Nexxtep grow quickly in popularity in their neighbourhood until they have their own concert. After the concert, a man named Tom Paradis approaches the band to offer to be their manager, and they sign a contract with him that appears to be legitimate, but the truth is they are minors that don’t know what they are doing. Their lack of knowledge leads them to get burned badly by Mr. Paradis, but the band is determined to fight back for what is rightfully theirs.
Number of Pages: 93
Age Range: 13-14
Review: Millions for a Song is a fun read if you don’t examine it too closely.
The questions answered by the author André Vanasse reveal a lot about the novel itself. It seems his son Alexandre had a band that was also called Nexxstep, and this story is a sort of fantastical imaging about what might have happened if his band had evolved beyond the garage stage. Also, Vanasse wanted to try his hand at writing a young adult book, and Millions for a Song is his attempt.
It’s an interesting premise, and surprisingly the aspect of the book I found most unbelievable was that Alexandre and his friends were allowed to sign a legally binding contract when they were minors without any advice from a lawyer or permission from their parents. How could it be legally binding then?
The foreshadowing when Nexxtep runs into a member of the band The Box who warns them about the parasites of the music industry was a bit overdone and there are serious issues involving Mélanie that are hinted at broadly but not explored. 93 pages just wasn’t enough to prove any real depth to the characters in the story. Otherwise, I enjoyed its fast-paced nature, the triumph of the band in the end, and the fact that it was an imaginative tale.
I’d recommend it for reluctant and younger teen readers.
“Melanie is unhappy. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m afraid she’ll always be that way. All because of what happened to her in her childhood that she can’t forget.
Sometimes I hate adults. They’re blind to the hurt they cause. All they think about them is themselves, what makes them happy. Kids have no say in it. they’re supposed to shut up and take whatever comes. Their lives can be totally shattered, but it doesn’t matter as long as adults get what they want.” – Alex from Millions for a Song by André Vanasse, page 16