Stargirl for boys, from Stargirl's perspective. If Stargirl were a boy. And a metalhead. Who got wasted and swore a lot.
Slayer-loving boy meets Shakespeare-loving girl. Alone together, they're great. In his world, she cannot deal with the anger and lack of sobriety. In her world, he cannot deal with the phoniness. Why does he need to be the one to give up himself to fit her better?
When you read Stargirl, you want to smack the lad. Really, what is wrong with him? "I love you because you are unique and special, I just wish you were more like everyone else"? Here, you get that from the perspective of the one giving up things for his beloved, so you really want to smack her. Stop being mean to our poor, delicate metalhead; we want to shelter and protect the boy with the spiked bracelets.
What comes more to mind is an old Onion article, "Girlfriend Changes Man Into Someone She's Not Interested In."
It is a simple and brief story, about 180 pages. You will be driven to keep reading, particularly as things start to go off the rails. We start with unalloyed joys and work our way through increasing pangs as she seeks less him in them.
The voice and events are genuine. The voice because it is Mr. Krovatin's, as the story might well be. Let us speak of the voice first. It is more expressive and introspective than you are likely to expect from a metalhead. It shows great sensitivity and worries that lie hidden beneath the surface. It assumes that ignoring class, drinking, and making an ass of yourself are perfectly normal aspects of life. In short, it is a teenage boy.
You pick the thing that defines you. At some point in your youth, you latch onto something that will be a driving force in much of your life, be it a sport, fashion, or science fiction. For many, music is a significant force if not the primary one. Each brings with it an entire identity package, based on the subculture that adopted that focus. For some, this will be a passing phase in life, but for that time at least it really is central to one's identity. This is a good example and explanation.
The events are probably familiar to you: the flush of first infatuation, the flow of a developing relationship, the rise of conflicts. Notable here are the small barbs, the unthinking cruelties of "things we need to fix about you." The role of expectations is related, the details and responses you assume the other person knows. Giving up smoking hearkens back to the early question about Santa Claus: there is a correct response in her view of how this relationship works, and it is his job to guess it.
Two friendship-related bits bear mentioning as well, with reference to other titles. When a new romance starts, friends are usually jettisoned to make time. That is explicit here, in the way it was not in Stephenie Meyer. It is apparent well before the altercation at the end, making Sam a more aware character than Bella.
That altercation is the other bit, which immediately reminded me of a similar scene from An Abundance of Katherines. For the ladies in the audience, yes, that is the rare but genuine discussion of male emotions. Upfront, direct, and confrontational: you work out who was a jerk, why, and can we not do that again? And then you go back to talking about what you did with each other's moms last night.
Personally, I am not terribly metal. I never had a need for that. I found Holden Caulfield useless too, so perhaps Mr. Krovatin and I would not get along well. (I get the point, I just don't need it in my life.)
Final note: I like the use of play, pause, and rewind to indicate the main story, asides, and flashbacks. It works nicely. As does the appearance of the title in the book.
Updating with a comment I forgot to make: The book may not age well due to pop culture references. The explanations of heavy metal are sufficiently thorough, but I think Chris Krovatin would like to live in a world where, twenty years from now, no one will be able to understand the term "Avril-y."