Lemonade Mouth -- Mark Peter Hughes

From the Prologue:Lemonade Mouth

As anyone can tell you, the facts surrounding the rise and fall of the late great Lemonade Mouth are steeped in legend and shrouded in mystery.

But I was there.  I know the real scoop, the honest dish.


So it's fair to say that the document you hold in your hands is the definitive anthology of Lemonade Mouth, presenting a unique opportunity to peer inside the heads of each of the Fab Five.  In keeping with the best practice of journalism, I have endeavored to report the facts as truthful and unbiased a manner as possible.

Except when I didn't have all the facts.

In that case I just had to guess.

Naomi Fishmeier
Scene Queen & Official Biographer of Lemonade Mouth

A brief introduction to the members of Lemonade Mouth:

Wen, trumpet:  Yes, this is the same Wen.  The object (well, one of the objects) of Floey Packer's affection in I am the Wallpaper

His father is newly engaged to a much younger woman who is so attractive that Wen doesn't feel comfortable being around her.  Due to events that took place after the end of Wallpaper, Azra and Floey aren't speaking to Wen, so he has no one to talk to.

In detention for leaving class before the bell rang*.

Stella, ukulele:  Stella and her family just moved to Rhode Island from Arizona.  She stands out at school due to her height, her closely-cropped hair and her strong opinions.  She's not particularly happy at home because a) she didn't want to move and b) she has just discovered why she's never fit in with her family of geniuses -- she has an IQ of 84.

In detention for disrupting a school assembly to protest the Assistant Principal's ban on her favorite t-shirt.

Charlie, percussion:  He is constantly being harassed by his much cooler -- but dead -- twin brother Aaron.  He's very much not a fan of English Comp, and he's very, very much not a fan of bully Ray Beech, who also just happens to be a member of Mudslide Crash, Opequonsett High's extremely popular band**.

In detention for shooting spitballs.

Mo, double bass:  Mohini Banerjee is the only Indian in the whole school.  She is driven -- her grand plan involves getting straight A's for the next four years, graduating early and going to med school.  Oh, and there's that whole her-parents-expect-her-to-have-an-arranged-marriage thing.  Her crush on Mudslide Crash's Scott Pickett is NOT part of the plan.

In detention for skipping class to make out with Scott Pickett.

Olivia, vocals:  Olivia is shy.  Shyer than shy.  Few people have heard her speak, though she does sing to her cats.  She lives with her grandmother, is a big reader (she loves Wodehouse) and is a faithful letter-writer.

In detention for skipping class to re-read The Great Gatsby.

So...  Detention, a well-timed coughing fit on the part of the detention monitor (who happens to be the band instructor***), an extremely catchy jingle on the radio, and Lemonade Mouth was born.  The history of the band is told in alternating voices, with contributions from the band members, fans, teachers and enemies.

I'm fast becoming a big Mark Peter Hughes fan.  The kids all have very different voices -- not just emotionally, but their writing styles were all completely different, from Charlie's minimal punctuation and long sentences to Stella's hopeful Future Legend voice to Naomi the gossipy journalist (and good friend -- I hope to see more of her in the future).  It's socially conscious without being preachy, which is impressive.  Good one.

*Due to an excruciatingly embarrassing moment.  As I had just read I Am the Wallpaper, you'd think that I'd have been ready for it, but no.  It had me covering my eyes and groaning, "Nooooooooooooo..." all over again.

**Mudslide Crash also figures prominently in Wallpaper.

***Who DOESN'T die of lung cancer.  Thank you, Mark Peter Hughes, for not going that route.  For that matter, thank you for not making her see the error of her ways in re: smoking.