That's Why I Wrote this Song, by Susanne Gervay

I write because I write. I’ve always done it. Private, emotions-on-the-page lyrics. Not-to-show-anyone words. Lately it’s been spilling out. Flooding me. Sometimes the music screams at me, exploding into my mind. Lyrics and music. I can’t stop them.

Pip lives for music. Sometimes it is fun, other times it’s an escape from the real world, a world where Mum is scared and her dad is angry. Pip’s three friends love music too. Irina plays drums, but her Russian parents don’t approve. They want her to play the piano and study hard. Karen’s parents are divorced, and Karen has to move between them, left with no home, no space of her own. Without music she might well have nothing. Angie has a perfect life, but she loves music, too. The four girls are very different, but music brings them together.

As they move through a tumultuous year of school, boys and family pressures, the girls form a band, Not Perfect. They will make their debut appearance at the mid-year school concert, and it will be unreal. Or will it be a failure? Pip wonders sometimes whether they’ll last until the concert.

That’s Why I Wrote This Song is an outstanding new young adult read, with the world of music and bands forming an absorbing backdrop for the dramas, big and small, of the four girls’ lives. Exploring teen issues including parent-child relationships, family roles, boyfriends, friendships and more, the story is an emotion-filled journey. The lyrics of the girls’ songs pepper the book, adding a new dimension to the story and providing an insight into the song-writing process.

That’s Why I Wrote This Song is the result of a collaboration between best-selling author Susanne Gervay and her daughter, Tory, who wrote the lyrics. In true family spirit, Susanne’s son, Jamie, also had input into the plot. For music fans, there is the added bonus that the two songs featured in the book can be downloaded from the publisher’s website, and a film clip viewed at the author’s website,

That’s Why I Wrote This Song is a brilliant book.

That’s Why I Wrote This Song, by Susanne Gervay
Harper Collins, 2007