Review

The Rock Star in Seat 3A

by Jill Kargman

Fantasy, fiction and the sex appeal of rock god Finn Schiller are the three key ingredients in the cocktail recipe for this summer’s must-read beach book: THE ROCK STAR IN SEAT 3A. Jill Kargman’s heroine, Hazel, and her sister, Kira, grew up listening to the music of Finn Schiller, lead singer of the iconic group The Void. Finn is their idol and the most frequent subject of their young female fantasies. Before the end of the novel, Hazel will get a chance to surrender to all the wicked desires most girls can only dream of fulfilling with their celebrity crush.

"Fantasy, fiction and the sex appeal of rock god Finn Schiller are the three key ingredients in the cocktail recipe for this summer’s must-read beach book: THE ROCK STAR IN SEAT 3A."

Fast forward several years. Both sisters now live in New York City, still the best of friends and confidants. Hazel has landed a killer job as an event planner for Badass Games, where she still gets to indulge in the videogame junkie side of her personality. On the surface, she is happily living with her boyfriend Wylie, a passionate chef and rising star on the New York restaurant scene. Kira is married with two kids and living on the Upper East Side, hosting a weekly happy hour playdate called "Tots n’ Tonic" for her friends and their children. Despite the fact that they are no longer exactly teenyboppers, fantasy is still very much a part of their lives; for example, during her 30th birthday celebration, Hazel admits that Finn is her still her “celebrity crush.”

Hazel’s fairy godmother must have been listening, because when Hazel boards her flight to a business meeting in Los Angeles, who else sits next to her in seat 3A but Finn Schiller himself? Fantasies, it turns out, do come true! Barely able to believe her good fortune, Hazel quickly lowers the volume of her iPod, already completely turned on by the “sex-laced voice” of her rock idol. Finn’s obsession with Badass Games ignites the beginning of a cross-country romantic fantasy worthy of the silver screen. 

Fantasies are a girl’s guilty pleasure. They are intoxicating and worth the risk of pursuit. Jill Kargman, New York Times bestselling author of THE EX-MRS.HEDGEFUND and SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A NUT, understands this and draws the reader into Hazel’s story with vigor and girlish giddiness. She begins each chapter with a quote about fantasy from some of the greatest writers of our times. One of my personal favorites: “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities." --- Maya Angelou. Finn encourages our fantasies, too: his Hollywood Hills home, stable of boy toys --- complete with a Porsche and Aston Martin --- and entourage-filled private jet fuel our desires to live our dreams, whatever they are. Hazel decides to follow her passions and free herself from the uncertainties in her personal reality by telling her beloved Wylie that she wants to take a break. 

Some people we meet make us feel more alive, more intelligent and more beautiful --- and willing to take chances and step outside of our boxes. We’ve all met bad boys, but what makes some act upon this attraction and others walk away? A European concert tour with a rock star who “ignited a sexy side” is the temptation Kargman offers her readers to explore this dilemma. Hazel understands Finn’s music, his dark side, his nomadic lifestyle and his ability to evolve into a person free of past torments.

Music, adventure, disenchantment, the spirit of "going with the moment" and an insatiable desire to travel are what feeds Finn’s soul. He has never met anyone like Hazel and is totally “bewitched” by her. As Kargman writes, “you only live once." Hazel shows us how to separate what sets us on fire from what steers us in the right direction. Is Hazel just Finn’s Flavor of the Month? Is living the dream worth ignoring the red flags? For a time, it seems like the answer is absolutely and definitively yes. Finn showers Hazel with suprises and even dedicates a new song to her. 

Hazel feels like she can fly. And who's to blame her? Nobody should miss out on feeling like a “total goddess” or the experience of being treated to a private dinner in the Getty Museum overlooking a nightime panorama of Los Angeles. Rock stars can make these dreams come true, if we let them. Hazel lets Finn into her life with her eyes wide open and lives her fantasy to the fullest. But what about Wylie? Is he the kind of man who will stand by silently while his lover leaves him for a rock star?

Whether or not Wylie makes the move to win Hazel back, Hazel's adventure is one every woman should take, even if only through the pages of a novel. For those who follow Hazel’s path, enjoy the ride for all of us. “Wishing is good for us. Daydreams, fantasies, castles in the air, and aspirations all drive us forward, impel us to make things happen. They also tell us a lot about ourselves. Our wishes come straight from our core.” --- Anonymous

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on July 6, 2012

The Rock Star in Seat 3A
by Jill Kargman

  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 006200722X
  • ISBN-13: 9780062007223