An engrossing punk-rock novel about teenage daydreams and sibling dynamics
Teenaged brothers Hombre and Transformer spend their days locked up in their suburban bedroom, writing songs and dreaming of stardom on their own terms. The music of the early 80s is brimming with post-punk ethos and a disdain for classic rock, but closer to home the pair can't find anyone else to join their band, Because, and frankly they don't really want another member to enter the fray of their complicated sibling dynamic. Hombre, the younger one, is quiet, contemplative, and talented, a poet in the making. His older brother Transformer is stubborn, domineering, and secretly struggling with mental health issues. Their sequestered world is broken open one summer when their mother hires Spit, a girl from the local guitar shop, to help the boys improve their modest skills. But these good intentions set off a chain reaction with tragic consequences.