Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Page Length: 307 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
About For the Record (via Goodreads):
If Almost Famous were a YA novel . . . a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
For the Record was an extremely addicting book that I couldn't put down. But at the same time, I had quite a few problems with it. Mostly in regard to the characters, especially in regard to Chelsea. So I might go on a bit of a Chelsea rant before I go into all the details of the book.
Okay, so I understand that Chelsea went through a lot before Melbourne, but at the same time she was also so rude and ungrateful to everyone who cared about her. For one, I know parents can be embarrassing sometimes, but her parents really supported her and her decision to join the band, and cared so much. And yet she only acted like they were a nuisance and in her way. Not only that, but she abandoned all her friends (even if they were often more like frenemies) to be with Lucas at every free moment of her day, rather than trying to close the gap between her and her bandmates. She always seemed to complain about how her bandmates didn't understand her or how they didn't like her in the band, yet she pretty much made no effort herself to be civil with them and get to know them better.
Besides, there was SO MUCH INSTALOVE. So maybe her relationship wasn't perfect with Lucas, but she basically threw herself at him and relied on him way too much. I know it's fine to want to be in a relationship and be romantic and touchy and all that (like whatever, I won't judge you, that's your decision to make), but neither of them really got to know each other that well and she pushed everyone else away in the process of being Lucas' girlfriend (or whatever she even was).
I honestly hated Lucas and Chelsea's relationship. It's not that Lucas was that bad a guy, but he caused so many rifts in Chelsea's life. I obviously also blame Chelsea for those rifts, but Lucas was also overprotective and kind of stalker-ish? Like, I know since Melbourne's on tour, she's easily traceable, but he doesn't have to show up out of nowhere every time and steal her away and go gallivanting when Chelsea was supposed to be with the band.
Also, Chelsea had the nerve to be jealous when her bandmates (especially Beckett) had love lives, even though she was basically pushing them all to the curb to be with Lucas. Honestly, who does that? He's not your plaything, he doesn't belong to you. And besides, Beckett is much better a guy than Lucas anyway. I may not be your biggest fan, Chelsea, but Beckett tried to be yours.
Finally, her best friend made a huge mistake, but Chelsea refused to forgive her. I can understand why she'd be mad, but this is a friend who stuck with her despite her massive mistake that changed both their social lives forever.
Anyway, enough ranting. Despite all these problems, the story was still pretty fun and interesting to read. I naturally wanted to scream at Chelsea throughout half the book, but the other two quarters were quite good (I say quarters because the first quarter was good, the middle "half" was the irritating Chelsea time, and the last quarter was pretty good).
It was really fun going on tour with Melbourne and going to all the crazy parties, shows, and events with Chelsea and the band. I loved how unique each of the bandmates were, but loved how they also had a lot of chemistry and worked well together, despite many mishaps. Although certain conflicts were resolved too easily and some were resolved irritatingly slowly, overall the plot was a fantastic speed and I flew through the book.
Although I had massive problems with the main character, For the Record was still an enjoyable read. If Chelsea was a less irritating character that I could sympathize with, this book would have gotten a higher rating, but alas, my rating will have to be 2 stars.