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Boy Band Blues

Series: Totally Lucy: Book 3
By Kelly McKain

Boy Band Blues

Boy band blues

Chapter One

Dun! Dun-dun-dun!
This is the 6 o’clock news on Thursday the 3rd of March.

Good Evening. This is Lucy Jessica Hartley returning from Not Writing Land to bring you a very important newsflash. Since winning the Fantasy Fashion Competition (for full juicy details check out my last journal, which is actually called Fantasy Fashion), something very exciting has happened. Lucy Jessica Hartley, the Year 8 schoolgirl, loving daughter, not-so-loving sister (well, little bros can be a nightmare!) and general fashion goddess has been asked to style a boy band!

The news broke early this morning, after assembly, when Lucy was approached in the corridor by Wayne Roman, the guitar-toting lust-object of the upper school. Unlike most of the girls at Tambridge High, Lucy doesn’t fancy Wayne Roman at all. Okay, he is good-looking but he is also a total big-head, and anyway it’s good-lookingness in that really obvious film-star way which Lucy finds massively yawn-making. So, after Lucy had stopped nearly dying of amazement that a Year 10 would approach a Year 8 in broad daylight, a short conversation ensued (I think that’s the right word but I’m not sure).

The full details of this meeting cannot be disclosed for security reasons, however we can release the following statement: “We at the LJH press office are pleased to announce that, following her success in the Fantasy Fashion Comp (and after getting congratulated in assembly), Lucy has agreed to take on the role of band stylist and general image coordinator, or style coordinator, or maybe image consultant. Lucy is in fact still deciding on the coolest name for the job.”

So, how brilliant is that!?! Mum reckons when someone asks you to do something specified like styling a band because of your skills it is called a commission. I myself in fact think it is called the Hand of Fate smiling down at me. I have been feeling the Hand of Fate in my life recently because of winning the Fantasy Fashion Comp and because of Dad staying here in Sherborne doing his radio station job instead of going around the world for about 2 years being a roadie.

Okay, as an update of my life, here is a list of things I am waiting for at the moment.

Lucy Jessica Hartley’s Waiting List

1. I am still waiting for Dad to come back and fix my new door handle the right way round so it goes down instead of up. Dad does not actually live here any more because he and Mum split up in September, and he CRUELLY ABANDONED us to go and live at Uncle Ken’s. When Mum saw the upwards-going handle she folded her arms and said that Dad meant well, but that his DIY skills were “far from exceptional”. That was quite polite for her because they normally just do bickering down the phone.

Anyway, the reason I needed a new door handle is because this weird thing happened. Basically, me and Alex (my little bro – nuff said) were standing in my doorway having a sensible and mature discussion about whether or not he should be allowed into my room, and it just fell off for no reason. Okay, maybe we were yanking it a tiny bit, but it’s just that my BFF Jules and Tilda (BFF means Best Friends Forever, BTW, which is what me and Tilda and Jules are.) were round and we were discussing the very important and secret topic of Qs. (Will explain later.)

2. I am also still waiting for my mum to lend me her new MAC eyeshadow, which is this gorgeous shimmery grey colour that absolutely perfectly matches my eyes. Of course, when I am a real, actual fashion designer, which is my lifetime’s ambition, I will get loads of MAC stuff free, but till then I have to borrow it from Mum. I tried to cadge a bit of the eyeshadow yesterday by doing flattery, which means saying, “Oh, Mum, you are so beautiful and gorgeous already that you don’t need make-up. Why don’t you lend that eyeshadow to me instead?” I knew it was working because she did this happy laugh so I said a bit more to seal the deal, which was, “And of course, Dad’s gone now and you never have any time or money to go out with your friends so it’s not like anyone sees it anyway.” Weirdly enough, she still wouldn’t let me borrow it, even though she said, “Thanks, Lu, you make me feel so good about myself,” and instantly treated herself to a chocolate éclair.

3. I am in fact also still waiting for my Q…

Oh, look, I can tell you about it here, so you didn’t have to wait very long in actual fact. Q means period (the boys in my class are mainly immature idiots so we made up a code word in case they overhear us talking about it at school, and P was too obvious so we changed it to Q). Tilda got hers at the end of October, but I will probably be about 24 when I get mine.

I don’t know why I’m bothering to even start waiting yet, because I am a late developer, as this tape-measure woman in Marks and Sparks’s bra department called it. At least Jules hasn’t started yet either, so her and Tilda have not reached matureness together without me.

I have recently tried predicting when my Q will arrive with the pendulum from my Teen Witch Kit that Tilda and Jules got me for winning the Fantasy Fashion Comp. The pendulum said my Q would come last week, and I got all excited and kept going to the toilet to check, but nothing happened, apart from Mum asking me if I’d eaten a dodgy prawn. So I don’t know if the pendulum is broken, or if it made a wrong prediction because in my subconsciousness I moved my hand to give it a bit of help in the “yes” direction.

So, anyway, I was saying about the boy band commission thing. Our school is hosting a Battle of the Bands Competition for all the local schools in aid of charity. Wayne wants to put a band together and win the competition for the highly artistic reason (NOT) that “the St. Cecilia’s girls are coming and they are HOT, man!”

Styling a band is basically the same as on Pop Idol where you get this rambly bunch together and then after the shopping and the hair styling and stuff they look like a proper band. I think it will be more of a band made out of boys than an actual boy band, though. This is because actual boy bands involve synchronized dancing, which I don’t reckon Wayne Roman would be keen on doing (although he is a whizz on the rugby pitch).

Also, the rest of the band is made out of Jack Stone and Joe Black who are famous for bunking off games lessons, so any actual exercise might instantly kill them. It’s lucky that Wayne Roman is being the lead singer and not Jack or Joe because they don’t tend to speak in normal words, but more in just grunts. And someone grunting to music is not going to make a hit single in my opinion.

Anyway, we are having our first proper meeting tomorrow at breaktime. I am bringing Tilda and Jules as my assistants and they have already started being mega-helpful. For example, Jules has offered to measure Wayne Roman’s inside leg, and Tilda says she will take his jeans home to customize them. They are both so sweet to give up their time to help me, even though they are not that into fashion designing.

Hey, I just thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a magic image-changing machine? Like, called the Style-O-Matic 500 or something. You could just walk in as your normal self and then come out the other side with a new look.

I am kind of like the Style-O-Matic 500 except I take a bit longer. Also, sometimes I have to persuade people to have a makeover but with a machine you could just shove them in. In fact, Tilda used to be Matilda-Jane who thought fashion was a woolly jumper with a horse head knitted on the front till I did a total re-style on her. She wasn’t sure about her new look at first, but she loves it now!

Tilda has been my other BFF since then, so now we go round as a three with Jules. Tilda is in actual fact half Hollandish (hang on, I mean Dutch) and she lives with only her dad, ’cos her mum died when she was really little. She just told us that fact, but she never said exactly what happened, and she never talks about it, so we don’t say anything. I tried to mention it one or two times at first but I didn’t really know what to say, and Tilda quickly changed the subject.

My other BFF Jules is actually called Julietta Garcia Perez Benedicionatorio. She has been my BFF since primary school when we got put together for a three-legged race at Sports Day and we won because of our cooperational skills. Jules is all Spanishly fiery and passionate so sometimes we fall out, but hopefully you will not have to read about that in this journal because we are very-nearly-teenagers and we are getting extremely mature. Soon we will not fall out ever but just go for coffee and that instead. Jules also has an older brother called JJ who is très lush. When I used to have a big crush on him, he said he didn’t not like me, so that was cool. But he is still going out with Suzanna with the big you-know-whats so it’s lucky I’m completely over him.

Well, I have to go and have tea now, which is in fact shepherd’s pie (wonder why it’s called that?!). I promise, promise, promise that I’ll write in here after the band meeting tomorrow, but it probably won’t be straight after school because I have to go and see Dad at his new job in the radio station. I can’t wait – it’s going to be soooooo cool!


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Some older boys at school ask Lucy to help them with the image for their band, and it’s not long before she develops a major crush on the lead guitarist. But is she just setting herself up for a giant dose of cringitis? Girls everywhere will identify with her bra-size embarrassment, parent troubles, best-friend dilemmas and secret crushes. Kelly McKain is a fresh and vibrant new voice in children’s fiction, and is totally in touch with the world of girls on the cusp of adolescence.

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Book information

Key Stage
Lexile Measure
Accelerated Reader level
5.8 MY
ISBN: 9780746066911
Extent: 176 pages
Dimensions: 198 x 130mm

Author information

Kelly McKain

Kelly McKain worked as a copywriter in an advertising agency and as a primary school teacher before becoming a full time writer. She is now the author of over thirty books for children and teens, including several bestsellers.

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Reader reviews

Read the following reviews or write one of your own.

“Boy Band Blues”
I like the book Boy Band Blues because it has a little bit of love in it and also it is about how Lucy hates the lead singer of the band she is styling for, but then she finds out that she likes him because she goes red when ever she sees him. A great book to read maybe you should read it one day!!!!
“Loved it!!”
I loved this book...It is very easy to read and fun....Now I am going to get from the 1st one till the last of Totally Lucy... Also Kelly u r definitely a good writer one of the bestttttttttt!! Love you!!
“Boy band blues”
I love the way she writes. The pages are soooooooooo totally over the top. You are my favouwrite writer. they are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo girly.

Press reviews

“Girls will go totally wild for Totally Lucy.”
“After her fashion competition success, Lucy Jessica Hartley has music on the mind in her latest brash, sassy diary adventure. Frivolous holiday fun ... just what we all need.”
“The "totally secret" diary of an "almost-a-teenager" Lucy, "stylist" to the stars of the school "Battle of the Bands" competition – definitely not my usual reading choice! (It took me a little while to work out just what a "stylist" is, for a start – apparently they have them on Pop Idol…) Anyway, Lucy’s "Best Friends Forever" help her through an ill-advised crush on the band’s lead singer, to their own triumph in the competition. Once I got past the distinctly pink cover, the groovy cartoons and the "contemporary" language style, I really enjoyed this. It’s funny and warm; it deals with friendship, loyalty, the confusions of teen-life, relationships with parents, and among all the fashion and "styling" stuff (still can’t take that seriously) tells you that it’s OK to be you, and that people aren’t always as you expect. Very readable.”
“Tweenagers everywhere will be able to identify with Lucy’s bra-size embarrassment, lack of periods, parent troubles, best-friend dilemmas and secret crush crises. Funky fonts and sketch-style pictures add to the overall "diary" feel of the book, and Boy Band Blues offers readers a frivolous and fun read, aimed at girls in Key Stages 2 and 3.”

Resources for this book

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