Struts & Frets
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Struts & Frets

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  533 ratings  ·  117 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...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Amulet Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,976)
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Heidi
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.
Carla
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, ye...more
Jamie
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
Heather
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.
Christianne
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.
kari
Jul 02, 2010 kari rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, ya, 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...more
Melody
Jan 19, 2011 Melody rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Hallie
Feb 23, 2014 Hallie rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
K
Oct 18, 2010 K rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Lauren
May 14, 2010 Lauren rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Thebookbutterfly
"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...more
Kathryn
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...more
Kate
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...more
Terry
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...more
Annalisa
Jan 01, 2014 Annalisa rated it 4 of 5 stars 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...more
Tammara
EXCELLENT. Skovron nailed every nuance, the truth about the need to be an artist, whether that means music, art, writing or theatre. If it's this deep inside, you have to do it; it's part of who you are. If you see yourself as any of the above, you'll connect with Sammy immediately, and his realizations and epiphanies will ring so true. The relationships were perfectly interwoven, each of the voices distinct and real -- what a fantastic cast of characters. LOVED it. I'm positive this is one I'll...more
Susann
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.
Kat
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!
Armando
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.
Thalia
Jun 22, 2013 Thalia rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Cheesy, Hormonal, Hipster Books about Teenage Boys. Also maybe fans of classic rock.
Recommended to Thalia by: The Dollar Tree
Shelves: e-ufh, luhdasbunyno
Read the review on my blog:
http://thaliasbooks.tumblr.com/post/5...
Jessica B
From shutupimreading.blogspot.com

This isn't my normal type of book, and I hadn't heard much about it. I just randomly saw it at the bookstore, and decided that I needed to read it. Maybe I had some kind of contemporary craving, I don't know. But it must have been just what I needed, because I really enjoyed it.

I know I've mentioned this once or twice (or twenty times...), but I love music. So when my love of music and books combines, it usually agrees with me. I like indie rock, but I don't know...more
Serendipity Reviews
Every time I thought about reviewing Struts and Frets, I was reminded of my initial response to the first couple of chapters. I was convinced that this book featured a group of hormonal teenagers who were milder in their tone than the Inbetweeners but still had their attitude. Imagine placing this bunch of teenagers at a High School Musical party which they are about to gatecrash! Get the picture?

For the first half of the book, this was the way I viewed it. The story line was entertaining as Sam...more
Carmel Kelly
Read the review also at Book Filled Blog.

The first thing to be said about Struts & Frets is that the cover and inside are AMAZING. It looks so cool outside and inside!

Sammy, seventeen, wants to be a musician. Not a rock star, even though some times, he lets the daydreams excel that far. No, he wants to be a musician, to play music because he enjoys not for super fame and fortune. Yet, he also has to worry about family and daily life due to uncooperative band mates, his friends and as well as...more
Katie
After reading non-stop paranormal, this book was a huge shift for me. I was afraid I’d get antsy, but luckily that was not the case. Struts & Frets was humorous and extremely entertaining.

My brother plays guitar. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had has played guitar. And my dad wishes he could play guitar. So needless to say, even though the only guitar I can play is for a videogame, this book felt really familiar to me. I’m definitely not saying that you have to have those kinds of connections to...more
Samantha Tai
When his band can't even decide on a name, Sammy should know that it isn't going to work out. Joe is a bully: he bosses everyone around and thinks he's in charge because he's the lead vocalist even though Sammy writes all the songs. Sammy's best friend Rick, the bass player, doesn't take the band seriously often messing up his parts. Sammy's the only one who cares about Tradegy of Wisdom. He's conflicted when he sees a sign for a Battle of the Bands in his area. On the one hand, Battle of the Ba...more
Vania
Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron tells the coming of age story of Samuel Bojar a high school rock and roll member of a garage band. Skovron explores the rollercoaster moments of growing up, the moments of inspiration and the moments in life when things click. Sammy is a songwriter and musician who is struggling to find his place not only in his band but also in life. In a time span of two weeks Sammy struggles with friends, band mates, and worst of all with family all while trying to get ready fo...more
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: Sometimes, I really enjoy reading novels from guy’s points of views, sometimes I do not. Struts and Frets was one that I did enjoy.

We are introduced to Sammy who loves music. He has a band that he loves jamming out with. They want to go in the big time. But, Sammy isn’t sure this is going to happen, they have a lot to overcome.

When he sees an ad for Battle Of The Bands, he decides it’s worth a shot.

Sammy and his band enter the contest!

Sammy also has a best friend who is a girl and...more
Nicole
Samuel "Sammy" Bojar's whole life revolves around listening to and making music with the high hopes on one day making it big in the underground scene. Despite what his therapist mother says. There's just one hitch in his plan: his band, Tragedy of Wisdom. Tragedy of Wisdom has the potential of being a really great band, but besides Sammy and his drummer/friend TJ, no one else seems to take the band seriously, or even care that much about it.

So when his band decides to enter a local Battle of the...more
Jennifer Estepp
growing up, i would've been all over this book, simply for existing. because at that time, in columbus, ohio, the only cultural touchstones we had were "family ties" which didn't count at all because all the place names were made up. so, a book that actually took place in columbus, dropping location names (the dube! bernies! newport! idiot boy! schiller park! not-named cup o'joe!) and experiences i could totally relate to? yes, please. but, because the setting is near and dear, there are a few t...more
elissa
Mar 05, 2010 elissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to elissa by: Capitol Choices
Exactly the right book for me right now, and I read it quickly. Emotional, but not too much. A very likeable main character (plus great secondary characters--the grandfather, the mom, the girlfriend, friends), and lots of pondering about music and sex. This has the best description of sex, for a teenager who's also a musician, that I've ever heard, and this book is one that's inspired me to add quotes in to goodreads, which I haven't done in awhile. There's not much of a plot, but that's not the...more
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Jon Skovron has been an actor, musician, lifeguard, Broadway theater ticket seller, warehouse grunt, technical writer, and web developer. Now he is a father and the author of Young Adult novels Struts & Frets, Misfit and the forthcoming Man Made Boy (Fall, 2013), as well as many short stories and essays. He generally likes stories that are dark, strange, and occasionally funny.

Jon was born in...more
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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.” 44 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.” 23 likes
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