Sunday, 6 March 2011

Review: Rockoholic - CJ Skuse

Title: Rockoholic
Author: CJ Skuse
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 7th March 2011 (Chicken House)

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place!

From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of last year’s super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts. Hilariously and sharply explores the fantasy and reality of celebrity obsession through a teenager’s eyes. C. J. Skuse has been billed as the new Nick Hornby for teens.

Jody is a massive fan of a band called The Regulators, in particular their lead singer, Jackson Gatlin. And by massive fan, we're talking OBSSESSED. She's vegetarian because in an interview Jackson says he is, she reads the same books Jackson reads, she buys zebra things because on Wikiepedia it says Jackson likes zebras; she truly believes he's the guy for her ... if only he knew she existed. Maybe he'll notice her when she goes to a Regs concert.

Really Jody's only hoping for a smile from the stage or something to that nature but somehow she finds herself bundling the rock star into her friend Mac's car at the end of the night and ends up hiding him in her garage. The problem is the missing singer is all over the international news and to make things worse Jackson doesn't want to leave.

While based on a completely unlikely scenario, Rockoholic is very realistic. Not only does it deal with the "OMG I've accidently kidnapped a rock god" issue, Jody is also coming to terms with the death of her grandad, her feelings for Mac and realising that Jackson's not the person she thought he was. It also deals with the less glamorous side of fame that Jackson doesn't want to return to.

The writing in this book is fast paced and funny, with many laugh out loud moments. The characters are all well developed and loveable. Jody's easy to identify with. She doesn't really know what she's doing most of the time and many of the things she does as a Regs fan will be things that a lot of readers will have also done. Mac's the caring best friend; the sensible one who gets Jody out of a whole load of trouble all of the time. Jackson's the bad boy, dealing with depresssion and a drug addiction. He doesn't know how to really relate to people and even when he starts to become the 'real' Jackson rather than the public Jackson, he can still be a bit selfish and arrogant. One of the most adorable characters in the book is Cree, Mac's baby sister, who's innocent enough to put everyone in their place without knowing she's doing it.

I really enjoyed reading Rockoholic and will definitely be looking out for other books by this author.

Don't forget to check out a guest post by CJ on The Dos and Don'ts When Going to Rock Gigs and also a chance to win a signed copy of Rockoholic.

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