RIP HER TO SHREDS
The Wretched Gretchens will shatter your eardrums, and they’re not going to apologize. But the teen all-girl band is facing an inevitable breakup. Lead singer Charlie, who croons like Patsy Cline on steroids, is ditching Portland for college at the end of the summer, and her bandmates won’t fit in her suitcase.
A prom-night battle of the bands victory snags the Wretched Gretchens the opening slot on a West Coast tour with Rorschach, indie darlings hoping to mimic the charm of their debut album. Charlie seizes the chance to make the last summer with her band matter, even if it means abandoning the unrequited crush all her songs are about.
But the rush of new cities, heart-pounding shows and all-night parties only isolates Charlie from her best friends. Guitarist Roxanne would rather flirt with Rorschach’s frontman, a golden-voiced Texan with curls luscious as Jim Morrison’s, than talk about college. Layla is consumed by an obsession with a bass solo. And drummer M.J. hides a secret that’s been throwing off her rhythm ever since they left Portland. As summer melts into fall, Charlie struggles with what ties the Gretchens together beyond their catchy hand-clap choruses—and what happens when they get home.
First 150 Words:
In the green room, she’d be herself again.
Away from the cymbals clanging in her ears and the bass throbbing in her belly, she’d be Charlie the dork. Charlie the siren, that girl who shimmied and gyrated and crooned like she knew how to string sentences together, would be dead. The real Charlotte Bray usually fumbled through basic conversations. She was the one who wanted to lose. She was the one who wanted it all to be over.
Charlie clamped the mic back onto the stand, turned her back on the applause and hurried off the stage and through a badly lit corridor. Hands trembling, she staggered into the green room and sunk onto the couch, careful to avoid the scrubbed-out stain that was once dirt or vomit or something more sinister. Safety. Finally.
Then she forced herself to smile, ready to lie to her best friend, who was heading inside with her guitar slung over her shoulder.