She's named after a landform.
She learned to walk on the red carpet.
And now she's playing hostess to the nation's hottest pop star.
Desert McGraw hasn't exactly had a normal upbringing. Her dad fronts the popular rock band Crossfire, and her mom is the group's manager. Always on tour or sitting in on recording sessions, Desert leads a life that looks glamorous to most people.
But now that she's sixteen and living in yet another new town -- Miami, this time -- Desert is more than ready to call one place home. There's one problem, though: How do you know whom to trust -- let alone what guy to hook up with -- when all any-one wants is access to the band?
Funny, romantic, and filled with essential rock-star etiquette (the proper attire for cruising in a Jag convertible, how to introduce new friends to your leather-wearing dad, etc.), Backstage Pass is a look at what happens when real life meets every girl's dream.
Though the spotlight is on the teenage daughter of a rock star, Triana's alluring first novel focuses less on the glitzy trappings of stardom than on the inner turmoil that accompanies Desert's peripatetic lifestyle. Raised on the road by her touring parents, Desert laments that she has "seen about as many hotels and cities, sound checks and catered meals as one sixteen-year-old would care to see. All I've ever wanted is one place to call home." As the book opens, she has just moved from L.A. to a posh Miami mansion with her rock star father, Flesh, and her mother, who manages his band. At her new school, the girl is befriended by Becca, a brooding, aspiring songwriter and guitar player who idolizes Flesh. Desert falls in love with another classmate, Liam, whose stepmother is writing an expos on what she perceives to be the shortcomings of Desert's mother's parenting. The plot takes some other unabashedly theatrical turns, but the author delivers the twists with a wink ("Yeah, like how Becca happens to be Dad's biggest fan, my boyfriend is the stepson of an evil tabloid reporter, and my mother's best friend is setting up the family business for failure. Sounds like something out of a movie"). And Desert's first-person narrative, in which dialogue nimbly segues into her thoughts, creates a credible voice. Readers will find that this tale strikes some true notes. Ages 12-up.