The novel shifts perspectives between all five of the girls and some of the secondary characters. At first, I found this a bit confusing and disjointed, but eventually I enjoyed being able to "hear" the thoughts of these characters. To understand the reasoning behind the choices they make.
LA affects each of the five girls in different ways, mostly negatively. Although, transporting five teenage girls from the UK to LA (without parent supervision), for the summer, seems to be begging for trouble.
Lucy, the drummer and main character, is the most likable of the five girls. Sturdy, dependable, hard working, caring, and invested in her career as a musician. While she seems to love her friends, she seems to miss the mark in terms of keeping involved enough to know what is going on with them and maybe helping before everything spirals out of control. She is taken under the wing of a music producer and nurtures her music, unlike the other girls. She has a positive enough experience, outside of her friends issues and losing Harper. She becomes the heart of the group, literally and figuratively keeping them on the beat.
Harper, the singer/songwriter, is using the band and the girls to win 'Project Next' so she can move to LA to be with her ex-boyfriend, who moved there for University. Their relationship is destructive and all-consuming. She does not care that he has a new girlfriend, and he does not care that he is cheating on his girlfriend. Rafe is one of the three characters I could not stand in the least, a delusional and bored young man, who uses Harper (does he actually love her?). Harper is brash, with no concern for her own safety, doesn't care about ruffling feathers, and fearless in terms of protecting her friends.
Robyn, the guitarist and composer of the music, is the "chubby" friend, with obvious body issues. Her issues lead her to meet another terrible character, Tomas. He is sleezy and a drug dealer, and he provides her with weight loss pills. Her story is the saddest of the five, managing to go from a passionate composer to a shell of who she used to be, so focused on looks and this boy Tomas. Her story is a poignant look at drugs and their effects on an individual and those around them.
Iza, the pianist, is quiet and unassuming. Her story begins as the most positive of the five, with her meeting a young man Luke, with whom she falls in love. However, she experiences her own share of hardship. Her experience near the end enraged me, although it did help to finally break down her barriers and empower her. She was rather boring throughout, but by the end she was my favourite after Lucy.
Toni, the bassist, is model beautiful and full of sass and cheek. She clashes with Harper, falls for their much older manager, and finds herself in over her head. She is possibly the one who learns the most and grows the most on their adventures.
The book was a great read. It reflected on hardships, fame, the pursuit of happiness and the power of friendship. I teared up near the end, wishing Harper's fate wasn't sealed, or that I could rewrite it. These girl's face so much together; the end is a whirlwind, edge of your seat, angerfest. But you grow too, to love these girls, to share in their triumphs, and to mourn their loss. The ending wasn't picture perfect, which was nice, it made the book more realistic.