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Struts & Frets

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  771 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
Told in a voice that’s honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they’d ever find their place in the world.

Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Harry N. Abrams
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Jasmine Sorry if I'm a bit late. There's a part that implies intercourse, but does not actually cover the event, although there is a little of the…moreSorry if I'm a bit late. There's a part that implies intercourse, but does not actually cover the event, although there is a little of the 'preparation' at the drugstore. Overall, it's probably okay.(less)

Community Reviews

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Dec 09, 2009 Heidi rated it it was amazing
STRUTS & FRETS has one of the hottest covers- and titles -around.
And what's inside is even better.
Honest, sweet, authentic boy voice.
Fully fleshed female characters.
Three dimensional grown-ups.
Surprises, drama and most importantly MUSIC!
I kept thinking while reading, "I can't wait to give this to my son when he's a teenager."
And my daughter.
One of the my favorite reads of 2009.
Enjoy the beat.
Aug 06, 2011 Carla rated it really liked it
It seems quite fitting to for my first review of 2010 to be of the last YA book I read in 2009. To put it lightly, I friggin loved this book, I even named by brand spanking new laptop "Macbook Sammy". I've only ever read one YA music book, which was so funny and unique, I went into reading this book quite guarded, I never expected to like it nearly as much as I did. Jon Skovron has this way with words that seems so real and raw, the openness of the writing style is heart breakingly beautiful, ...more
Sep 15, 2009 Christianne rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I hope this will be a hit with guy readers. I found it to be funny, touching, and honest. A strong male character who loves a strong female character and has great friends and goals and a great mom. Plus a cool soundtrack of alternative music. What more could you ask for? The title is genius too.
Jan 09, 2010 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 14-16, music, aging
Imagine picking a book up with no expectations and suddenly realizing it's set in your own past. That's the feeling I got from reading this Young adult debut by Jon Skovron. Set in my hometown of Columbus, OH, it namedrops places (Blue Danube/a re-named Bernie's) and real life bands and songs (Monster Zero, Charles Cicirella's WHITE JEEP, which I spent HOURS AND HOURS trying to find online last night, even though I know I at one point in time had some kind of recording of it.) Now, imagine that ...more
Jun 26, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
Recommends it for: music lovers or wannabes
If you love music this book would be great to read. I thought it was really cute.

I thought it was funny, because of the timing of reading it now- Jen5 so reminds me of Crystal Bowersocks from this seasons American Idol. It must be the dreadlocks.

I also thought back to the rock band my high school had. I could only imagine the drama swirling around their lives I didn't know about. I wonder what happened to them or how many high school bands make it big...hummmm.
Jul 02, 2010 kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 2010, 5-star
I've had this book on my TBR for a bit and I should have read it sooner. Terrific. Fabulous. A wonderful and complete story with an authentic sounding voice.
Sam wants to be a musician. No, more than that, he has to be one, he can't imagine his life without music. I liked the chapter titles that were song titles or lyrics. They tied in well with the story and made sense as Sam is always thinking music, either listening, hearing it in his head or writing it.
The other characters are also well drawn
Dec 13, 2013 Melody rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Susann
Oh, this was fun! The authorial voice was completely authentic- so much so that I found myself saying stern motherly things to the protagonist. Out loud.

Sammy lives for music, but he's also a regular teenage kid with insecurities, blind spots, family issues and in short, a normal life. I love reading about kids with normal lives, kids who are not Representing A Disorder. Samuel is hilarious to read about from an adult perspective, too- this book works on more than one level, and hits on all cyli
Feb 23, 2014 Hallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
3.5 stars.

Lot of wonderful things in this sad, funny and happy book, but I didn't feel whole-heartedly crazy about it. Sammy was a great character, and his intermittent real immaturity combined with his strengths and kindness were quite winning. Maybe it was the way sometimes things were played for laughs, and got them, but in the process lost some of the subtlety of characterization that bounced me out. The main example of this, which I have other concerns about too, was when Sammy and his very
May 14, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I don't know about you but I love it when books are inspiring in a way that makes you have the impulse to chase after your own dreams as soon as possible. If you haven't guess already, Struts & Frets was exactly that- and more!

If I were asked to quickly sum up Struts & Frets in a few words, a lot would come to mind. One being inspirational, obviously, along with moving and poignant. Since in all honesty that's just how Sammy's coming of age tale was.

Sammy is a character who has a lot o
Nov 30, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Can't Stop This Music

I freaking loved this book. Any book that can make Jane's Addiction and Shakespeare come together to create a beautiful story has my full support. And it didn't hurt that the writing style has a rawness and openness about it that nearly broke my heart and kept me laughing all at once.

Sammy Bojar is going to be the next big thing--or will be after the current next big thing gets out of his way. All he has to do is figure out how to keep his indie/punk/emo band together, turn
"He would talk about how important all music was. How it took us--not just the people who played it but the people who heard it--to a place above the normal boring world."

What I've realized with the world is that you cannot talk about music, good music, without being pretentious which 1) I don't really care. I love music so much that I just don't let it bother me anymore. And 2) There is something wrong about that because you should be able to talk about your opinions on everything from the pun
Oct 18, 2010 K rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Sometimes when I start a book, I can see the plot and outcome right away and end up going through the motions of reading. To feel all-knowing, maybe? While this book wasn’t a wild twist from what I’d foretold in the beginning, it did have personality I wasn’t expecting and told a story with heart that wasn’t totally transparent.

Sammy is a guitarist in a band. He writes all the music and lyrics, but wants no part of being a front man. Instead he damns his band mates to Joe. Dude is scary. Sam’s
Nov 23, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: age-ya, 2009, arcs
I received this book as an ARC from the publisher.

Sammy loves music. He loves it so much he's willing to be in a band with Joe, who scares the crap out of him. He loves it so much he can't see that his best friend, Jen5 (all the other Jennifer nicknames were taken), is in love with him. Music is his bond with his grandfather, who seems to be going a little crazy. Now Sammy's got a girlfriend, and his band, Tragedy of Wisdom, is going to enter a Battle of the Bands contest.

I fell in love with Sa
May 09, 2010 Terry rated it really liked it
Shelves: guy-books
A good book that has ambitions for more than adolescent humor. Musicians will really like it, as it takes creativity, performance, and passion for music seriously. There are some good one-liners, a solid love interest, and the relationship between the protagonist and his best friend is enjoyable. The grandfather isn't handled as well.

A highlight for me is the lack of melodrama (with one glaring exception). Whom to date is an issue, but not crushing. Mom is a single parent, AND completely reasona
Jan 01, 2014 Annalisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: language
Recommended to Annalisa by: Jake
3.5 stars

This is my cousin's son's favorite book (that's my cousin-once-removed for those of you following along). It reminded me of him so much that I had to keep reminding myself that this was Sammy, not Jake, and the story took place in Ohio, not Arizona. Great authentic voice, one that reads very much like a teenager as opposed to the overly intelligent teenagers in much of YA (view spoiler). A great read for music lovers out there, especially those deeply artistic
Jan 10, 2010 Susann rated it really liked it
The high school Susann would have had a major crush on Sammy Bojar. He can talk Pixies *and* Miles Davis? Oh yeah. Skovron packs a lot in here: the music stuff, girl stuff, bully issues, gay issues, senile grandfather issues, mothers who sometimes unload way too much stuff on you issues. And it all works. Sammy's growth was believable and just plain fun to watch. The chapter titles and playlist are also a treat, and I loved that I always knew what Jen5 was wearing.
Daphne M.
Aug 04, 2016 Daphne M. rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Sammy's voice was very relatable and honest, but also was pretty deep at some times and said some things that as a fellow musician will stick with me (like the quote on the back of the book). Ugh Joe was so annoying, but I liked Jen5 a lot. She was a really good friend (view spoiler) to Sammy.
Dec 16, 2012 Kat rated it really liked it
Struts & Frets was new and fresh debut from Jon Skavron! I loved the character of our main character, Sammy Bojar. His passion for his love of music just screamed out from each page I read. This was a strong debut for sure and I'm excited to see what else Mr. Skavron has to offer!
Oct 04, 2009 Armando rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
this book is great. perfect for high school students specially students who like music. I remembered my time in high school. and the music selection that is used through out the story is great. I highly recommend this book.
Wendy T-Son
Nov 18, 2016 Wendy T-Son rated it it was amazing
Struts and Frets. Don’t even get me started, this book changed my life. It’s about a teenage boy named Sammy Bojar. He has to overcome multiple everyday challenges that every boy goes through like yourself. But if you aren’t relating to Sammy than maybe you relate to Jen5 the female lead aka sammys love interest and life long friend.

Each and every character grows in many ways and if not they attempt to, for example there's Joe, the nasty, narcissistic band leader. Joe hasn't had an easy life a
Ian Clegg
Nov 18, 2016 Ian Clegg rated it it was amazing

Struts and Frets 11-7-16 Jon Skovron

Do you like funny books that will make you laugh? And have serious topics? If so Struts and Frets, by Jon Skovron is the book for you! This book will have so many things to relate to and be able to think, talk, and laugh about with your friends.

This book is about the life of a 17 year old boy named Sammy Bojar. Sammy is trying to discover himself through music! He is in a band called Tragedy of Wisdom with his friends Rick, TJ, and
KItty Dismukes
Nov 18, 2016 KItty Dismukes rated it it was amazing
Struts and Frets Book Review
By Jon Skovron

“I have to say that this kid has had a rough life.” says Joe. “I mean his mom is so hot that even with twenty staples in her head she gave me a boner. Who knows?” “Now that I’m single and she’s single, hell, maybe I could be Sammy’s new daddy!”

That was the moment that I stopped playing and threw my guitar at him..

Sammy is a ordinary teenager, But he doesn’t feel like that. His father got his mother pregnant with him in college, then bounced when he foun
Jared Osoria
Nov 28, 2016 Jared Osoria rated it really liked it

Is This the Sound of Music?

Do you love music and hate posers? Then “Struts & Frets” by Jon Skovron is the best book for you to read. “Struts & Frets” is a captivating, raw story about the truths of growing up: girlfriends, boyfriends, sex, keeping friendships, making friendships and so much more. The main protagonist of this bittersweet saga, Samuel Bojar, is a regular, dime a dozen angsty teenager and hormone magnet going through something we all do, blossoming into an
Nov 17, 2016 Adaswag rated it really liked it
Life of a Musician
Struts & Frets Jon Skovron
Book Review James Ada(s)wag
Published in 2009, this novel brings you into the life of Sammy Bojar. An extraordinary teenager asking the same question every human being asks. “Who am I?” Look into the mind of a musician as he marches on with the weight of his band, and his family, on his shoulders. If you enjoy music while questioning your place in the world, this book is for you.
Sammy and his friends started a band long before the book started. S
Nov 17, 2016 Ruby rated it really liked it
Music to my ears
By Ruby Clark
The amazing coming of age novel by Jon Skovron that takes you through a boy’s highs and lows.

The book Struts and Frets was introduced to me as a class book in my eighth grade class. If you read the cover it starts you off with the quote, ”Will feel instantly authentic to anyone who’s ever felt the pride and shame of an outsider”-Cory Doctorow. I truly agree with this quote, Struts and Frets is one of the most relatable books I have ever come across. As a teenager I
Nov 17, 2016 Hannah rated it really liked it
Jon Skovron pulls the average teenager’s highs and lows out out of the black and white of our world. There are a million books about a teenagers growing into their own. Struts and Frets has its own light that makes it stand out. The author includes lots of different and unique situations for Sammy, the main character, to go though, which in the end shapes him into his own perfect individual. He deals with the weight of his band, friends, family, and his own ego.

Skovron begins the book with the c
Nov 17, 2016 Jules rated it really liked it
Anything but elevator music
By Jules Foster

Struts and frets was written by Jon Skovron and published on December 9th 2009. The theme of this book is coming of age.

This book is about a seventeen year old boy named Sammy Bojar. His friends are TJ, Alexander, Rick, and Jen5. Sammy lives with his mom, who is a therapist. I feel like Sammy doesn’t really enjoy school, he didn’t think he needed school because he wanted to be in a band. But Sammy’s mom wanted him to go to college and have a car
Juan Ruez
Nov 18, 2016 Juan Ruez rated it really liked it
Jakota Ludwick
Grade 8
I Definitely Recommend This Book

Our teenage years are some of the most difficult we have to deal with, that is what “Struts and Frets” by Jon Skovron is about.

The book is set in Columbus, Ohio and is about a young boy named Sammy. Sammy both plays music and writes it, he plays guitar and sings amateurly, he finds it difficult to deal with his band mates and dating his best friend Jennifer. By the nadir of the story each character has changed drastically. My favorit
Clay Petry
Nov 18, 2016 Clay Petry rated it really liked it

“Struts And Frets” is an marvelous book that all teenagers can relate to because the book goes through relationships, puberty, and teenagers figuring out what they are going to do with their life.

This book tells the story of a group of teenagers who are in a band, a very dysfunctional band. The main character, Sammy Bojar, has dreams of going on tour and making “Tragedy Of Wisdom” merchandise. He is the only thing keeping the band together. Unfortunately, his bandmates don’t feel the same way.
Insert Name
Nov 17, 2016 Insert Name rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jon Skovron is the author of several Young Adult fantasy novels, including Misfit, Man Made Boy and This Broken Wondrous World. His first adult fantasy series, The Empire of Storms, began last June with the release of Hope and Red, published by Orbit Books. The Barnes and Noble SF&F blog said "Skovron’s briskly-paced story doesn’t skimp on the world-building—and thank goodness, because it’s ...more
More about Jon Skovron...

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“I've heard people say that they lose themselves in a kiss. But in that moment, it was the opposite for me. I felt like I found myself. Not how I wished I was, or who I was afraid I was becoming, but who I really was.” 51 likes
“Because sometimes I was tired of feeling so much and I just wanted to shut down and not feel anything. But I guess I wasn't wired that way. All I could do was write about it. Get it out of my head and onto something like paper that I could manage easier.” 22 likes
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