New Kids on the Block. The words alone take me back to circa 1989/1990. I’m in elementary school- and I’m suffering from bad fashion choices: hair in a side pony-tail, denim shorts, Keds with floppy, push-down socks (naturally, I don’t realize that this is not fashionable until years later.) New Kids on the Block is THE band. I know the songs, have the shirts, and am in the middle of my first celebrity crush (Joe McIntyre- I even have his stickers on the back of my favorite Nancy Drew Case Files book). Living in a small, rural town- the closest I think I’ll ever come to NKOTB is listening to the music on the tape deck and reading about them in the magazines. However, I’m wrong. NKOTB performs a concert in a town an hour away- and I, thanks to my mom, get a ticket! NKOTB was my first concert and it was memorable- for many reasons.
Seeing this book brings back the memories of NKOTB. I still remember the music. Still have the tape somewhere.
On to the actual review of the book now that you know my NKOTB memories:
Nikki Van Noy does a great job compiling stories, facts, and interesting tidbits of the early beginnings of these boys- from even before they were New Kids on the Block- to the seemingly over-night rise in star power (although, thanks to Nikki Van Noy- I now know they were not such an over-night sensation as some would have a person to believe) then the eventual dimming of the star power. Now that the band is back together, the stories of what they went through, the tidbits from the fans, the pictures- the book is worth it- whether you are a current NKOTB fan or was a fan during your childhood/pre-teen years.
Reading about how NKOTB was first marketed as a R&B group, then did the switch to Pop music- in that section, the reader begins to learn just how close they were to the point of never really making it big. Which would have been a shame- because the boys were groundbreakers for other “boy bands”; but at times were almost too forward thinking in their own approach (Case in point: Donnie wanting to be more over a “cross-over” artist. Today people pull that off, but during NKOTB rise to fame- not as many artists could do that).
During the rise of NKOTB- there was no Facebook, Twitter- actually, no internet. Facts and tidbits of information a person could find out now was not easily found out in the early 1990’s. Nikki Van Noy pieces together this book- the good, the bad, the ugly of the NKOTB, perspective and stories from fans, tales of how the lives of NKOTB have changed over the years- she takes all that and writes a book that is heartfelt, warm and caring; a book that makes the reader feel like they know the NKOTB, and brings back a sense of nostalgia for the days of “Hangin’Tough” and “You Got It (The Right Stuff). For the real story behind New Kids on the Block (past and current stories)- I highly recommend Nikki Van Noy’s New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters.
Now, I just need to find my scrunchie and my NKOTB tape- and my trip to nostalgia-land will be complete.
*Thanks to Touchstone Books for providing me with a review copy of New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters by Nikki Van Noy. The above review is my sole opinion and thoughts.