Blog Tour: The Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens | Excerpt | Giveaway

The Bad Decisions Playlist The Bad Decisions Playlist
Author: Michael Rubens
Publisher: Clarion Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: July 17, 2016

Sixteen-year-old Austin is always messing up and then joking his way out of tough spots. The sudden appearance of his allegedly dead father, who happens to be the very-much-alive rock star Shane Tyler, stops him cold. Austin—a talented musician himself—is sucked into his newfound father’s alluring music-biz orbit, pulling his true love, Josephine, along with him. None of Austin’s previous bad decisions, resulting in broken instruments, broken hearts, and broken dreams, can top this one. Witty, audacious, and taking adolescence to the max, Austin is dragged kicking and screaming toward adulthood in this hilarious, heart-wrenching YA novel.

Michael Rubens is the author of The Sheriff of Yrnameer andSons of the 613. He was a producer for several years for the Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and has written and produced for CNN, Oxygen, the Travel Channel and other networks. It’s theoretically possible that you saw him as the host of Eclipse Chasers: Ghana on the Travel Channel. He was also, for a very brief period, the World’s Least Effective Bouncer. He lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, New York, and feels that the practice of writing one’s bio in the third person is somewhat questionable. He is represented by John Silbersack at Trident Media Group.



I pretty much completely rewrote the second half of The Bad Decisions Playlist and have mostly forgotten those vanished chapters, so it was weird to revisit earlier drafts and say, “oh, right, that scene...” Most of them deserved to go, but I sort of like this one, a scene where Shane, distracted by his own problem, takes a mystified Austin to an art museum. 

We ate lunch at an uptown place that’s hipster vintage restaurant in front and hipster vintage bowling alley in the back, everything wood and straight out of the 1950s. The tattooed waitress and a few others recognized Shane and he chatted with them, open and amiable, introduced me as his son. We bowled some sets, drinking PBR out of a pitcher, neither of us able to break 100. We laughed a lot, and he was still amiable, but I could feel a brittleness to it, a restless tension underneath. I was thinking about what Ed said, the warning in his tone, but I didn’t bring it up.   
We polished off the pitcher – well, Shane did, really -- and he says “Alright, let’s go,” already walking toward the exit before he finished with the words.
We wandered in and out of some stores, Shane distracted, not really focusing on anything, then went to a book shop where I watched him pull books of shelves, glance at them, put them back. Once in a while he’d freeze in place, mouthing words silently to himself.
“You okay?” I said at one point.
“What? Yeah, fine. Let’s go.”
Next we went to the Walker Art Museum and I tagged after him as he meandered aimlessly through the collection, pausing briefly before most of the paintings and sculptures before shaking his head and moving on. It’s all very strange, but right now I appreciate the diversion.
“You looking for something?” I asked.
He didn’t answer for a bit, moving on to the next paint. Then he murmured, “A way out.”
“Of what?”
“My own head.”
He seemed to know all the artists: “You see what Rothko’s doing here with the color? The purity of it?” or, “You think Pollock is crap? Maybe it is crap. But it was new crap when he did it. The Ramones weren’t exactly Bach. They weren’t even, I don’t know, Bachman Turner Overdrive. But they stepped out with those three chords...What they did was important for the era.”
Many times he said, this guy, he went crazy. Rothko killed himself. Pollock went nuts. This guy Nussbaum....
“No, the Nazis got him. You bored?” 
I shrug. “I don’t know. This isn’t really my jam.”
He was quiet. Then, “Will you promise me something?”
“Don’t be dumb on purpose. Okay? Know stuff. It’s important. Not for any person, or for a test, but know stuff. For you. Know as much as you can, whatever it is, and it can be poetry, or art, or, hell, I don’t know, accounting. I don’t care. Absorb everything you can, because then you can give it back to the world, give yourself back to the world.”
I was going to make a joke about it, ask him if this was the sharing of the parental wisdom, but he had that look of quiet intensity, so I just said, “Okay.”


3 winners will receive a hardcover of THE BAD DECISIONS PLAYLIST! 
US Only. 

Tour Schedule

Week One:
7/25/2016- The Cover Contessa- Guest Post
7/26/2016- Owl Always Be Reading- Review
7/27/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Excerpt
7/28/2016- James and the Giant Book- Review
7/29/2016- Fall Into Books- Guest Post

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