Book Review & Giveaway: Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Grenade Bouquets (Runaway Train, Book 2) by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Publisher:  Wise Wolf Books (August 5, 2021)
Series: Runaway Train, Book 2
Category: Young Adult, Runaways, Outcasts, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Depression, Mental Illness
ISBN: 978-1953944078
Available in Print and ebook, 286 pages

Grenade Bouquets

I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…

The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.

But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.

A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.

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Guest Review by Sal

A coming-of-age novel that defines a generation. ‘Grenade Bouquets’ is a perfect look back into the music and culture of the 90’s, and a nostalgia trip for all of us who remember that decade.

Although it may seem like the distant past to today’s teenagers, 1995 was a time of grungy music and even grungier clothes. And this book, by author Lee Matthew Goldberg represents that impeccably.

The sequel to his novel, ‘Runaway Train,’ in ‘Grenade Bouquets,’ Goldberg brings back his main character, Nico. Now seventeen, and still mentally recovering from the death of her sister and her short time spent running away from home, Nico makes the huge decision to go on tour with her band, Grenade Bouquets. Nico is technically a back up singer in the band, but as she begins performing in front of audiences around the country, fans begin to take notice of her, and soon, so do record companies.

On a path to music stardom, Nico begins experiencing the downsides to fame, including unfettered access to drugs and alcohol. Although she is still a teenager, she had already been through quite a bit in life, and she is desperate for a way to numb her mind.

On top of this, Nico is dealing with tension between herself and the lead singer of the band, Clarissa. Clarissa is not happy that Nico is beginning to take center stage in Grenade Bouquets, and even less happy that the teenager is currently dating Clarissa’s ex boyfriend, Evan. Nico must constantly dodge schemes that Clarissa hatches to get rid of her, all while trying to navigate the choppy waters of sudden fame.

‘Grenade Bouquets’ is not just a love letter to the 90’s, but to Grunge music, with every chapter being named after a Grunge song. This is an excellent summer read for anyone who misses the 90’s! It is also a great introduction to 90’s music culture for young adults.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of seven novels including THE ANCESTOR and THE MENTOR, currently in development as a film off his original script, and the YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, Hypertext, If My Book, Past Ten, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others.

His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print or eBook copies, 1 each per winner. Print is open to the U.S. only, eBook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on September 25, 2021,midnight pacific time.

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Praise for Grenade Bouquets

“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”- Kirkus Reviews

“Runaway Train is a high-energy testimonial to the redemptive power of a road trip with an awesome soundtrack. Lee Matthew Goldberg balances the urgency of youth with a whiff of anticipatory nostalgia for the music and misadventures of late adolescence. Attuned to way distinctions between music genres and teen idols can feel like impermeable walls worth defending, and then crumble as a teen like Nico Sullivan finds her own voice.”- Jenn Stroud Rossman, author of The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh

“Raw. Riveting. Runaway Train stays true to its title as it explores the deep pain of a teenager desperately trying to find peace in a world full of pain. Lee Matthew Goldberg is a master at bestowing sympathy and strength on deeply flawed characters. Realistic and shocking, hopeful and satisfying, Runaway Train will keep readers turning the page.”- USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Forster 

“It’s an incredibly challenging task for an author to utilize a darkly comedic tone without coming across as disingenuous–but Goldberg executes it here with expert precision. Brimming over with the visceral atmosphere of the early 90s grunge era, RUNAWAY TRAIN is a must-read for those willing to buckle up for the ride.”-Peter Malone Elliott (Director of Operations, Book Pipeline)