Genre: Pop Culture; Author: James Montgomery, Pete Wentz; Publisher: MTV Books

On tour and off his meds, the rock star at the center of Gray is the self-destructive sort, unable to cope with the harsh glare of fame, the drudgery of life on the road, or his longing for a lost love back in Chicago. It’s not hard to imagine he’s a version of the author, a founding member of the band Fall Out Boy. Wentz offers plenty of color, treating readers like silent plus-ones as he whisks them through a world of pierced groupies, colored cocaine, and French whores — and that’s just in the first chapter. Unfortunately, things don’t progress much from there. The voyeurism provides a cheap thrill, and Wentz can turn a nice phrase — he’s a songwriter, after all — but the plot is overwritten and underdeveloped. C+

Originally posted February 15 2013 — 12:00 AM EST

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