This is very punk rock and not in the candy-coated nostalgia sense, but in the dirty, dye-stained world of vaseline and aqua net. Even though this is set in 1980, it easily could range into the mid 90's. The club scene, drug addiction, music and underground hipness of punk rock influence reached over a decade. The only thing missing, intravenous HIV inflections and a groupie gang of junkie strippers. Engaged in high risk behavior, this fortunate teen escapes battered but not dead, which is an accomplishment considering the atmosphere. Live and learn, or at least hope so. Some characters get their happy ending, while others have a REALLY bad day! The novel reads like a memoir, which helps strengthen the reader's attachment to the lead female character J.J. Those who have never had similar experiences will get to experiment vicariously through her and the tribe of poser dwarves. I literally got goose bumps and tingles towards the end of the book -- this was brought on by pure emotional attachment. Being a product of the Underground in Seattle during the early 90's, I can relate to the club scene and the drug influence. I watched a fair share of lives be destroyed, talent wasted and dreams crumpled in the trash. However, some people like J.J. came out the other side. The good, the bad and ugly make us what we are and trust me, although this is fiction, it is not in the least bit far-fetched. Every scene in a big city is just a group of small town hopefuls and running into each other with the aid of the six degrees of separation is strangely realistic. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone hanging with the band members of Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Alice in Chains, Sky Cries Mary, Tad and Nirvana at the Croc in Seattle back in the day of grunge. True Story.