Barry Bigtime likes to think that he is the most powerful person in the music industry but his empire is rapidly falling apart, his finances are in the red and he is in desperate need of an act to improve the ratings of his Big Time TV talent show.
When Jamie’s favourite band BNA - a YouTube sensation - are Barry’s chosen act she smells a rat. Her Uncle Barry hates everything about social media bands and has a dastardly plot all of his own to ruin BNA and create the next big act using a secret contraption hidden in his chateau. But when the boyband generator goes wrong, it is up to Jamie and her three best friends to save BNA and to put a stop to Barry Bigtime once and for all…
I have often wondered how boybands are made and now I finally have the answer…in Barry Bigtime’s laboratory using his incredible boyband generator. Jamie McFlair vs the Boyband Generator is the first in a new series that hits all the right notes and is sure to be a smash-hit, unlike most of Barry Bigtime’s bands. Luke Franks and Sean Thorne’s debut book is well-written and bursting with funny moments with many being brought to life in black and white illustrations. A zany and fast-paced plot fizzes with energy and dances to its own beat as the unpredictable narrative leaves the reader with no idea what will happen next.
Jam-packed with silliness, the story feels like a mash-up of Kid Normal and the X-Factor and is the kind of fun story that kids will love. Crazy antics and mayhem is in generous supply as Jamie and her three best friends do everything in their power to save their favourite band whilst Barry Bigtime makes for the most dastardly of villains with his wacky ideas and out of control ego. Along with Jamie and Barry, a madcap cast of characters deliver an utterly hilarious story as they get involved in wild house parties, silly shenanigans and madcap plans.
Even as an adult reader I was kept thoroughly entertained and I loved many of the references to pop culture, fans of talent shows will pick up on many if not all of them. So, should you read this book? Well, I’ve hit the golden buzzer, I’ve spun my chair round and in the words of Simon Cowell, who is perhaps the inspiration for Barry Bigtime, ‘It’s a yes from me.'
Recommended for 8+.