Smoove City

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  • Author(s): Keil, Kenny/ Meadows, Amanda (EDT)
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    Simon & Schuster, 2020
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Booklist Reviews 2020 October #2

It's the early nineties, an era of mall culture, manufactured boy bands, and dubious fashion choices. Ray, Ronnie, Mikey, and Vinnie have big dreams of fame and fortune for their band, Smoove City, and while a signed record contract and tour suggests that they are well on their way, a vindictive small-town sheriff has other ideas. Now that they are stuck in jail, do the four besties have what it takes to conquer the airwaves with their smooth R&B sounds? Filled with endless hijinks, a heavy dose of satire, and a palette so bright you might need shades, this homage to nineties culture delivers with sitcom precision and a serious retro vibe. While the cartoony nostalgic style recalls the original Archie comic world, the racially diverse cast and edgy story keep it contemporary. The plot might not keep readers guessing, but this fast-paced romp confirms that tight friendships can endure almost anything, even a predatory music industry and conniving adults looking to exploit them. For pop-culture fans young and old. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.