I’d told myself I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to grab any books I saw in the library, no matter how tempting they were.
Which, of course, explains why I walked out of there with a copy of Heavy Metal and You, a 2005 novel written by Christopher Krovatin while he was a student at Wesleyan University.
His age shows, and not in a bad way. Heavy Metal and You rings with the authentic voice of a teenaged boy, trying to figure out who he is and what it’s all about.
That’s pretty much the entire plot. Sam meets Melissa, asks her out, and falls head over heels, only to find out she doesn’t like his friends, he doesn’t like hers, and she’s trying to change him in ways that, fundamentally, he’s not thrilled about. He likes going out and getting drunk and stoned and stupid with his friends. And okay, he realizes cigarettes don’t taste that great, but darn it, it should be his choice if he wants to smoke or not, not hers.
If anything, this book reminded me a bit too much in tone and voice of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Adventure, a book I loved the first time around. Not so much when it feels like I’m reading a rehash, which is really unfair to this particular book. It should be able to stand on its own. An interesting note is that Nick and Norah co-author David Levithan is thanked for being an editor and friend. Coincidence? No way!
As a work of Rock Fiction, this stands up – and so does what, for me, was the penultimate scene. It is so achingly real, it transported me back to my own youth.
Melissa, wanting to experience Sam’s world, had joined him at a general admission Deicide concert. This probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to expose a newbie to the scene, but Sam was so over the moon with his woman that it’s easy to forgive him this slight – and the one that comes next.
Hyped on the music, the adrenaline, the possibilities, and the scene, Sam grabs Melissa’s hand and pulls her into a very rough mosh pit. They are separated and by the time Sam finds Melissa again, she has been thoroughly traumatized.
Anyone who’s been in a situation where someone is a willing participant in a world that is ridiculed by most will relate to Sam and his headlong enthusiasm.
It’s the best part of the book.
Heavy Metal and You. Recommended, just for that one scene.