Get Back, Imagine...Saving John Lennon by Donovan Day
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What would 2015 have looked like if John Lennon were still alive? Would fans be relishing the new music he was producing? What would the pop/rock landscape looked like? Had he not died on that night in 1980, would America have a different outlook on gun control? All of these questions are posed in Get Back, a time-traveling romp through the Swinging Sixties and more.
Lenny Funk plays guitar in the subway and he loves the classics—the Stones, Dylan, James Taylor and the Beatles. When he meets a lovely young lady who sings and happens to be named Yoko, Lenny falls hard for her. But once his guitar is liberated from him by a punk, he and Yoko go on an interesting journey due to Lenny's head injury.
Throughout the book, Lenny, Yoko and a cast of other characters from Lenny's life head back in time with him. Because of Yoko's connection to the Beatles through her grandmother Lily, meeting Lily and the Beatles is the first goal. But what else could they do with their time-traveling powers? Lily and Lenny decide that it may be possible to save John Lennon from his fate.
This is a solidly written book, though I think many superfans of the Beatles may not be interested in all of it. Some stereotypes are still present (Paul's bossy, Yoko's controlling), but those with only a casual knowledge of the band's legend would not pick up on that. It also covers a wide range of 20th century pop/rock music, so as a YA novel this is a great introduction for young readers to start discovering all of this great music. The time-traveling aspect is fun, though just as a personal opinion, time travel should be observation only—no meddling (though if Lenny and Yoko didn't meddle, there wouldn't have been much of a novel, would there?). Overall, casual and superfans should give it a chance—it's fun to imagine what you could do if you could travel back then.
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