Start With the Backbeat

Start with the Backbeat by Garine B. Isassi. Berkeley: She Writes Press, 2016. 273 pages. ****

It's the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge is finally getting a big promotion at Mega Big Records. Looking for fresh, new talent is always challenging especially when charged with finding a "Gangsta" urban rapper before the trend passes them by. Jill and her colleagues go to the "Drop Zone Lounge" to hear MC Doggie T and DJ Fizz, but something seems off in the performance.  The lyrics and music have promise, but what doesn't ring true? Jill is determined to get to sign the next great artist, but has she made a mistake? At the same time, computers are installed in their offices and Jill finds herself drawn to the trainer, Alejandro Alvarez. Will Jill find true love and success in her chosen career?

Many musical, cultural references and 80s stereotypes scattered throughout the story with humorous anecdotes. Isassi has captured the music world and nuances of the 80s in this entertaining story. Music fans and those who grew up in the 80s will be drawn to Jill's story and the inside look into the music industry politics.

I received a copy from BookSparks for a review. 

Garine B. Isassi is a former singer/songwriter who grew up with one foot in Texas and the other in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is a lover of music, chocolate, and altruistic sarcasm; a writer of post-punk humor; and the illustrious founder of Helicopter Moms Anonymous. She is proud of her Armenian-American heritage, but tired of explaining it. She currently lives in Maryland, where she works full time in marketing communications, sings in a gospel choir, is the Workshops Chair for the Gaithersburg Book Festival, over-volunteers for a variety of community organizations, writes when everyone else is asleep, and lives with her husband, three kids, a cat, a dog and a gecko. It's the gecko that sent her over the edge. You can read her blog, "Hi!" from the 'burbs, at her website, garineTHEwriter.com.

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