A tragic fairytale romance that was quite unexpected coming from the Godmother of Punk. I always liked to claim that Patti Smith was one of my heroes. She was the kind of role model that “cool girls” had, and I, striving to be one of the “cool girls” told everyone I met that Patti Smith was a huge influence on my life. I should not have been surprised when my sister bought this book for me for Christmas. I was only half lying, I do admire Patti Smith as a feminist icon, and I do know a bit about the role she played in the birth of Punk, but other than that, I knew very little.
I started reading this book expecting to learn more about Patti Smith’s life, living in New York in the 1970s, hanging out at CBGB’s but that’s not what this book was. Just Kids is a love story outlining the relationship between Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The bond that these two people formed was indestructible. Despite the fact that both Patti and Robert had different partners and different times they remained so in love with one another, and not even death could stop them. Written with poignancy and impeccable grace Just Kids, gave me a real reason to admire Patti Smith. In these pages Patti is vulnerable and true, she is telling the world a love story, her love story, and the joy and happiness and well as the pain and suffering that was all a part of it, and that, I think is just about the “coolest” thing anyone could do.