Sorta Like a Rock Star

>> Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Author: Matthew Quick
Recommended Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0316043532
ISBN-13: 978-0316043533
Year Published: 2011
No. Pages: 384
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Female
Read & Reviewed by: Natalie

“Maybe I am a freak- but I'm one hopeful misfit, and you could be worse things in this world. True? True.”

In the realistic fiction novel, Sorta Like A Rock Star, Amber Appleton lives with her mom, her catholic dog and her mom's boyfriend. That is, until he kicks them out. Now, Amber lives on Hello Yellow, the school bus her alcoholic mother drives, not a fancy hotel. Despite all of this, Amber stays optimistic. She is the self-proclaimed princess of hope and therefore refuses to give up.

Amber has many great people in her life, helping her keep going through her difficult situation. One of these people is Donna. Donna is like Amber's second mom. She buys Amber's make-up, takes care of Amber's dog and even gave Amber her own key to her house. In return, Amber makes breakfast every morning for Donna and her autistic son, Ricky- who wants to take Amber to the prom. So even though Amber's life doesn’t exactly rock, she is still loved. This proves to be a good thing when something terrible happens and Amber isn't sure that she can find the up-side to anything anymore. When depression threatens to dethrone the princess of hope, can she find a way to pick herself up and continue to be sorta like a rock star?

Matthew Quick wrote this amazing novel from Amber's perspective. Although I believed that Quick could have shared Amber's inner thoughts more, I still liked her as a main character. I loved Amber's optimism from the first page on. I especially admired her need to help others when she refused help for herself. As the story unfolds, Amber learns that accepting help from others makes her stronger. The way Quick made Amber speak, I wouldn't have known that a male had written the book, if I hadn't looked at the author's name for this book review.

In this novel, Quick includes murder, autism, alcoholism, grief and homelessness. The inclusion of these themes made the novel gritty and realistic. Quick treated me, the reader, with maturity and didn't sugar coat the story. Despite these hard-hitting themes, he managed to write this heartbreaking story with humor. The dialogue was hilarious and honest, giving me insight into the characters. For example;

"Can I get a hug, Old Man Linder?” I ask “Is the Pope Catholic?” he says, and then gives me this very long hug, his nasty breath making my neck sorta wet, which I tolerate, because he's got oxygen tubes up his nose and is probably going to die any day now, plus I really like hugs.

I rated this book a 9 out of 10. Quick does a magnificent job of bringing Amber Appleton, the girl who's sorta like a rock star, to life.

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