Book Review: The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman

The Rock Star in Seat 3A by JIll Kargman

Rating: 2.5/5
Number of pages: 200
First published: 2012
Genre: contemporary fiction, chick-lit
I got this book: for review from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins

A light read about a fantasy coming true, that sounded great! However, this book was rather too light for me, and I could not see anything great about the protagonist’s fantasy in the first place. In hindsight, this was probably not a book for me.

The Rock Star in Seat 3A: What it is about

From the publisher’s website: “Just turned thirty, Hazel has everything she could wish for—great guy, great job, great New York life. But great just got even better when a boring business flight becomes a trip to heaven thanks to a surprise upgrade to first class—to the seat next to rock god Finn Schiller.

At her birthday party the night before, Hazel’s amazing and generous boyfriend gave her a free pass if she ever met the rock star. After all, what were the odds of that ever happening, right? But here she is and so is Finn. It must be fate. Even more unbelievably, Hazel and Finn genuinely connect, despite that minor vomiting incident. (It was the turbulence!) Finn likes her potty mouth, her wicked humor, and he appreciates her refreshingly anti-groupie attitude. Hazel adores his killer looks, ripped physique, and soulful music.

When fantasy becomes real attraction, a dream date, and taste of L.A. rock-star life, Hazel must decide what she wants. Indulging in a passionate affair with a rock star seems crazy, and she’s got a life she loves back in NYC. But could she ever forgive herself if she walked away from her wildest dream coming true?”

The Rock Star in Seat 3A: What I thought

Doubt creeps in straight away when a book starts with “I’ve never done heroin”. It got the benefit of the doubt, and I’m happy to say, there is no drug taking or other underworld activity in this book (you see, I was expecting chick-lit, not crime). Then I got more uncomfortable: the writing was so  loud. So terribly loud, that I almost could not follow along with the roller-coaster language assaulting my brain. Written in a language that is not mine (I mean, culturally), I had a hard time getting into this story. I have the feeling the writing relaxed later on, or maybe I got used to it by then.

Then the profanities. First things first: I’m not against profanities for any religious reasons, more out of principle: I find them agressive and unpleasant, even when used in a positive sense “This is f*cking great!!!”. I just don’t like it. My luck, there is an abundance of them in this book, especially at the beginning. To be fair, I’m pretty strict: I even have problems with the word @ss, since there are nicer words for the particular body part.

Then it turned out I’d chosen the wrong book to read with regards the story line: I mean, do I care about music? Not much. Do I care about celebrities? Even less. Do I fantasize about meeting rock stars or other celebrities? Never. So, why did I pick up this book? I’m not sure. It seemed like a nice and light read, is all I can say.

When Hazel wasn’t cursing away with her friends, she was a nice person. Nothing like the brain-dead women you may encounter in some chick-lits and she was reasonably normal about meeting and dating a rock star. Of course, initially, she was all “Wow, it’s him! {profanities} I want to kiss him!!” but she settled down soon enough and didn’t let her star-struck brain take over. She treated him almost like she would any other person, which I liked about her. I could also understand why she might jeopardise her relationship with the dependable Wylie: sometimes you have to go beyond what you know to find out what you really want.

All fine so far. But some of the story was plain boring and 20 pages from the end, I was wondering whether this was it, when there suddenly was a twist to the story that I hadn’t seen coming and that hadn’t been sufficiently hinted at earlier on in the story. It was too sudden and that didn’t feel right.

The rock star was a rather card board cut-out type of guy, I never really got to understand what Hazel liked about him other than his music (is that enough to be infatuated with someone?). I could take him or leave him, he was nothing special in my eyes.

So, altogether not a fantastic reading experience for me. If you love the idea of living out a fantasy with your favorite celebrity you’re starting off with an advantage. You may like this way more than I did.

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at and We edit books and articles for independent writers.

14 Responses to Book Review: The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman

  1. Definitely not one for me, Judith… I don’t like profanities either and I am, as you, not interested in stardom and celebrities.
    Thanks for your review.

  2. Leslie says:

    This doesn’t sound anything like the books you usually read. I’m surprised you finished it!

  3. Rikki says:

    How very odd, a thirty year old woman fantasizing about meeting a rock star and getting – how convenient – a free pass from her BF if she ever does. She likes him for his killer looks and physique, wow, serious criteria here. I thought the plot sounded ok, and I don’t mind profanities, but superficial women who date rock stars just because he is a rock star is definitely not my thing.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Excellent premise! (full disclosure – my husband has given me a free pass with Michael Buble). Sadly, though, it doesn’t sound like I would enjoy reading this book, either.
    I don’t have a problem with profanity if it is used to enhance the narrative, but when it is used just to be used it makes me cringe.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, I don’t mind profanity if it’s functional (like I don’t mind functional sex) but here it was totally unnecessary, just poor language.

  5. Meg says:

    Definitely agree with your thoughts, but I think I disliked this one even more than you did! I gave up on it, actually, because I couldn’t take another second of the “loud writing” (perfect description), profanity and generally boring plot. Hazel definitely didn’t appeal to me, and I found the whole book incredibly annoying.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Meg, I don’t know why I didn’t give up – I guess I didn’t find it awful. But I never liked it much. Good for you to not finish it – there are too many books in the world to be stuck with one you don’t like.

  6. Pingback: Did-not-finish book thoughts: ‘The Rock Star in Seat 3A,’ ‘Girls In White Dresses’ | write meg!

  7. Dorothy says:

    I just reviewed this book on my own blog ( and felt basically the same way you did. I even linked mine to your review (hope that’s ok) to show that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like this!

I love comments! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: