Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out. 


In addition to praise for debut author Len Vlahos and his characters, the back cover hails The Scar Boys as “THE MOST ANTICIPATED YOUNG ADULT NOVEL OF 2014” . That’s quite a big statement!  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as moved or impressed as these booksellers.

Readers are introduced to Harry through his personal essay to The University of Scranton in 1987.  Rather than sticking to the 250 word limit, he writes his life story using appropriately titled rock and roll chapter headings.  The story opens with Harry becoming severely scarred (both physically and emotionally) after almost being struck by lightning. After Harry is rejected by a girl, his best friend suggests they start a band, and so, The Scar Boys is born.  With a passion for music, they take their three dude, one woman band on the road.  No surprise to anyone that the girl and the van become an added complication for the band.

I understand that like Harry, not everyone has the goal to attend college. Many people are just as well off following their dreams.  Obviously there is a transformative power in playing music, but I didn’t like the ending. He admits to being a coward and that playing guitar, loving music, and having friends is ‘good enough’ for him. How depressing.

The Scar Boys tour your way January 2014.

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