Denman W18 Masthead 2

Unrequited: Emma Grey pens the NEXT. BIG. THING (and reignites my love of boy bands)

Martina Taliano

unrequitedSeventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world’s biggest boy band. Is she the only girl in Sydney who can’t be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden?

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth’s twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn’t get it—and where is her best friend? 

When did life get so crazy? Kat’s just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn’t she?

Having someone you admire achieve a goal they have been working towards for a long time is a great thing to see. Having someone you actually know write a book that is really good is very cool. Having that person ask you to review their book AND getting to read it before it’s released is one my most favourite things in the world!  So I was super excited when author, businesswoman, HerCanberra contributor and all round fabulous woman Emma Grey sent me her latest novel, Unrequited.

Aimed at the teen/young adult market Unrequited is a story that will be enjoyed by young teens and their parents alike. It is a very easy read that had me up until well after midnight every night last week promising ‘just one more chapter’.

When 17 year old Kat’s mother asks her to accompany her younger twin sisters to the UK boy band Unrequited concert she does so, albeit not happily. On the train to the concert she literally bumps into Joel, aka McDreamy, a slightly older and extremely handsome medical student but leaves without exchanging any details (a bit Cinderella like but without losing her pair of Converse).

While her sisters carry on in typical obsessive fan-girl style throughout the concert Kat tunes out by listening to music she actually enjoys on her iPod, much to the amusement of Angus Marsden, extremely hot leader of Unrequited.  Angus is intrigued by the girl who can sit through an entire concert of the hottest new boy band in town listening to other music, totally ignoring the technically choreographed dance moves, floating stages and fireworks.

Of course you know that Joel and Angus will have to find out who Kat is, and her ordinary student life will be turned upside down in the way that only first love and infatuation can possibly do. Kat isn’t the only one experiencing the confusion of falling in love, there is more unrequited love than Kat can deal with on her own!

You can call me naïve and a dreamer but I like to look at the Kate Middleton and Princess Mary stories and think these amazing stories could happen to anyone. If you are a believer too, you will love this book as much as I did.

Emma has very consciously used modern language and references that will resonate with the younger audience. I didn’t actually know that 5 Seconds of Summer were a real band…there is a reason I am the book reviewer and not the music person for HerCanberra.

The characters are so well developed that if they stepped off the pages I would like to take them out for coffee. I suspect that some of them may be based on Emma’s daughters and her friends – I wonder if they can see themselves in Kat, Lucy, Sarah, Annie or Jess…

While the younger audience may equate boy-band Unrequited to One Direction and see Angus represented as their favourite in the group, I saw them as my teenage crush; New Kids On The Block and Angus is my Joey. Ahhh Joey – he is still incredibly cute, have you seen him lately?!  I spent so many hours of the early 1990’s singing (in tune) into my microphone/hair brush and practising my extremely complex and co-ordinated dance moves in front of the posters blu-tacked to my bedroom walls. This is the way my memory tells my story anyway!

Unrequited took me back to the days when my Milli Vanilli, Rick Astley, Tiffany and Roxette posters were covered over by NKOTB, Jon Bon Jovi, Guns’N’Roses and Metallica. With the power to bring Step by Step and I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) to the top of my play list I really enjoyed Unrequited.

How can you resist the chance to fall back in love with your first boy band and follow Kat as she falls in love…maybe with a boy band or maybe with a medical student?

the essentials

What: Unrequited
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Fiction
How much: $24.95

Martina Taliano

Martina is a wife, stepmother, daughter, sister, friend and serious bibliophile. She struggles with late night dilemmas such as whether to wait to get to the shop to buy a hard copy book to share with everyone, or to download the e-book and start reading straight away. Martina has many wonderful qualities, however patience is not one of them and the e-book usually wins. Her perfect world would be one where every child is read to every day and no one ever utters the terrible words 'I don't like reading'. More about the Author

  • Sam

    I was a massive Backstreet Boys fan! I had all the CDs and had posters of them hanging on every spare piece of white space on my walls; much to my mothers anguish! I think I liked them because their songs were soo catchy and easy to sing along to?! They were also quite good looking to teenage me too! To this day I can still recall all the words to their songs and have to hold myself back in public if i hear them!

  • TrickyT

    Oh gawd, time travelling to my dim distant primary school days being in love with (big breath) the Bay City Rollers!! Loved the tartan, the soppy songs and shaggy hair LOL I’ve read the first 3 chapters of Unrequited online and yes, dying to know what happens! After finishing the book, I would gift it to my cool, bookish music-loving niece.

  • Hanson, they were my whole world at the tender age of 13. I was convinced that if Taylor Hanson met me that he would instantly fall in love with me, despite me being double his size (I had grown into the body of my full adult self by then) and my terrible skin. He would be able to look past my physical imperfections and see me for the interesting, funny and talented person that I was…I had it all planned out.
    Selfishly I would like to win this book for myself, yes I’m one of those 30 year old women who loves teen fiction.

  • Philippa

    I was too young for the Beatles and too old for the Backstreet Boys. The first bands that came to mind would be Wham! or Culture Club, neither of which are true boy bands and neither of which the lead singers would look twice at a me – being a girl and all 😉

    If I was lucky enough to win a copy of Unrequited, I would give it to my fourteen year old daughter who adores 1D and 5SOS.

  • Emma

    My first boy band crush was Duran Duran – Simon le Bon, be still my beating heart! They probably don’t count, so maybe move on to A-ha, 1927, maybe a small part of me though Bros was awesome… My young nieces are just starting to explore the world of cute bands and a joy of reading and I want to encourage them to explore and dream of the fantasy life and how it can sometimes be a reality

  • Janny

    For me it was Bon Jovi. I remember having their tape in my walkman as I did my newspaper deliveries (Saw them again last year and they kept on playing their new stuff, who wants to listen to that??). I’m with Amanda, I really enjoy young adult fiction even though I’m no longer classified as young.

  • Michelle B

    Martina, I totally agree with your review. I started and finished the book last night, I could not put it down!! This was an absolutely fantastic read and I was so invested in the characters I couldn’t wait to see how it all turned out. Emma is able to flip a reader’s emotions in just one line (I remember at one point feeling a bit sad because of what I’d read and then laughing because of the next line), and basically after reading it I just felt happy. Totally worth staying up way later than I should have! Think I might start re-reading it tonight!

  • Anne

    Do the Monkees count as a boy band? They played their own instruments, but they were ‘put together’ rather than naturally getting together…. I wasn’t old enough to see them the first time around, but I fell in love with them and especially that cute little Davy Jones watching reruns of the Monkees on tv. When Davy came to the Brady’s house and sang to Marcia I was so jealous & pretended for days after that it was me!

  • Anne

    Opps! forgot this bit….. I’d love to win a copy of this book for my gorgeous daughter, who would love to be a writer herself
    . It would be great to show her that you can do anything if you are determined enough

  • Jodie McAlister

    I am of the era – Duran Duran and Wham
    My walls were plastered thick, I was an A grade fan
    I can hear the hits – they’re ringing in my ear
    From ‘wake me up before you go go’ to ‘save a prayer’
    Not only can I hear them, the clips are streaming in
    And when I read this book my ‘pop song’ youth will live again!

    I’d love this for my daughter – she loves to sing the hits

  • Amanda Whitley

    Hi everyone

    Happy to announce that the five winners are: Tricky, Philippa, Emma, Anne and Jodie

    We’ll be in touch to get your details!

    Amanda x

  • Emma

    Thanks so much for the book – it arrived in the mail yesterday & I couldn’t help myself – I read the whole thing! I woke several times during the night (stupid sinus bug coming on) and each time I woke I was thinking about the story! Fantastic book, will have to read it again before I can pass it on to my nieces & sisters to read. Am looking forward to reading more of Emma’s work in the future!

  • Philippa

    Thanks for our copy too. My daughter is reading it at the moment and once she is finished then I will start. Her comments so far are “the best book ever” and “She knows exactly how fan girls feel”.