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Friday, July 9, 2010

Review: Sorta Like a Rock Star (Quick)

Title: Sorta Like a Rock Star
Author: Quick
Genre: Fiction, High School, Death, Survival, Dogs
Pages: 362
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Amber Appleton is homeless.  She is living with her mom and her dog in the school bus that her mother drives (nicknamed the "Hello Yellow"), hoping that the school district doesn't find out and turn them in to social services.  Instead of focusing on the bad things in her life, (and believe me, there are many), she chooses to spread optimism and hope to those around her.

Amber comes in contact with a quirky cast of characters: a single mother raising a son diagnosed with autism; Father Chee and The Korean Divas for Christ (soul-singing ESL students); a grumpy old woman who wants nothing more than to make Amber cry; a video-game-playing gang of outcasts at school; and a haiku-writing war vet.

Then Amber is faced with an unspeakable tragedy and her world is shaken to the core.  Can the girl known for unceasing optimism move past all the bad things going on around her?  This is the author's first YA novel, and is also nominated for BFYA this year.  I wish it had a better cover, because it was not checked out very much at the end of the school year when it was added to the collection and I think it is because the cover gives you no idea about the treasure of a story you will find inside the cover.

This is such a wonderful book with so many zany characters.  Amber is almost annoyingly happy at the beginning, and it takes you a few pages to realize how wonderful she is.  Her enthusiasm for life is so contagious!  And then, tragedy strikes and it changes Amber completely.  But her friends do not give up on her and hope that Amber can come through the other side of the darkness.  A completely realistic character, Amber is "sorta like a rock star" to those around her, and you will fall in love with her and root for her.  There is so much to love about this book, not the least of which is how it will make you think about the way you look at life.

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