Monday, November 27, 2006

Heavy Metal and You

Book: Heavy Metal and You
Author: Christopher Kovatin
Published: 2005

Metalhead Sam and preppy Melissa are this year’s Least Likely Couple. But try telling them that. To the doubts and concerns of their respective groups of friends, they fall deeper and deeper in love. And while Sam’s friends aren’t thrilled at the way Melissa is making him go straightedge, he doesn’t care, telling himself that love is worth it.

But as their romance progresses, Sam finds himself making more and more changes for her and feeling less and less good about it. He loves Melissa, of course he does . . . but is it enough?

I surprised myself by picking up this book. I’m probably the last person on Earth to enjoy heavy metal, but this book, and Sam’s genuine and passionate obsession with the music, gives me a window into that world. It was also nice for me that Sam is no metalhead stereotype (probably because Kovatin himself is a heavy-metal fan and therefore knows there’s more to the group than spiked wristbands). Sure, he drinks, drugs, and moshes, but Sam also discusses literature and participates in a local drama club.

It’s a quick read, but one that will stay with you because of the questions that Sam faces about friendship, love, and identity. In the end, it’s not even necessary to understand who Deicide or Slayer are to understand Sam (well, okay, give me credit, I have at least heard of Slayer). This is a story about how much we change ourselves for love . . . and how much we should.

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