Review: The Victoria in My Head

A shy, rule-following teen winds up joining a local rock band in this laugh-out-loud, heartfelt coming-of-age novel. 

Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists. 

But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger. 

From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.

Okay, well. Huh, I just really don’t have much to say about this book. I didn’t dislike it, but there also just wasn’t much compelling about it. I just kind of… huh.

So, overall, the story was kind of wishy-washy. There wasn’t a super clear focus, and nothing was really well developed. For example, there was a really interesting plot like going on with the MC and her “original” love interest. There was a weird pressure going on between the two that spawned from insecurity, and it was one of those like super complex teenage issue things. Anyways, that plot line was pretty much… useless? Like, it honestly had nothing to do with the story overall. It had potential, but it was kind of just in there for a few chapters. Their relationship spanned the entire novel, but it didn’t develop the very real emotional manipulation/insecurity/etc. that was going on. There was also some very random explicit material that kind of came out of no where and was one random line that had little to do with the scene at all.

All in all, I feel like this story was wasted potential. Perhaps it was trying to deal with too many issues, or it just had too many plot lines in it. Honestly, the story was just full of undeveloped ideas that made it seem a little immature overall. I really wanted to like it, and I wouldn’t say I disliked it by any means. It was kind of just an eh book for me.

That being said, this book was an alright, easy read to pick up. If you can skip over a few (and, really, it was maybe half a dozen all together) sexual lines (not entirely explicit, but still worth being aware of), it was an easy read. It was quick, entertaining, and upbeat. Some of the issues discussed were very real to life, which is why I was disappointed they were not entirely dealt with. However, for a YA contemporary novel, it was alright.

2.5 out of 5 stars.


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