Nothing Can Be Taken for Granted
'Poet of the Wrong Generation' by Lonnie Ostrow shines a light on the inner workings of the music world. From a dream of stardom to a life of success, Johnny Elias' life deals with and attempts to conquer relationship troubles, deceit, bad press, and what, at times, seems certain defeat.
Johnny's relationship with the girl he considers his true love, Meg, is the catalyst for much of what happens in the story. As irony would have it, without her domineering mother and Meg's penchant for giving in to her mother's wishes despite the knowledge that it is entirely the wrong choice, Johnny becomes the musical star of his generation. The fact that Katherine Price feels she had a hand in this leads to much of the conflict in the novel, as she feels his limited and inconsequential upbringing are not nearly good enough for her well-bred and upstanding daughter. Johnny's indomitable nature help him move past the agony of losing Meg, as he pours his heart and soul into the lyrics that make up his bestselling, chart-topping hits. However, he never truly feels as though he has gotten over Meg, and she feels the same, despite getting into a relationship with another man, basically at her mother's behest.
Katherine Price may mean well in her own self-serving way, but that is just what it is - self-serving. She never takes into account Meg's feelings about losing Johnny to her (Katherine's) own selfish whims, and even when Katherine tries to make it right, her own pride and ego keep her far away from taking the high road. It is not only Katherine's determination to keep them apart that keeps the plot progressing, as Johnny and Meg find themselves in different places in their lives no matter when they try to reconnect - even as friends.
Even though parts of the novel were interesting and furthered the storyline, much of the writing seemed unnecessary, providing details about the lives of the characters that added more length than substance to the characters and their respective issues and dilemmas. The plot was interesting overall, and the twists and turns believable, but the length often overshadowed enjoyment of the story, as the novel seemed to take forever to read in its entirety.
'Poet of the Wrong Generation' teaches that nothing can ever be taken for granted, as everything has the potential for change, from stability, to relationships, to career, and so much more. Life is a constant struggle, and Lonnie Ostrow proves this time and again as Johnny, Meg, their friends, and their family all work to make their lives better while struggling to hold on to the comforts of the past.