June 10, 2014

Sorta Like a Rock Star - Matthew Quick

Sorta Like a Rock Star - Matthew Quick
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism--and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?

With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. The world is Amber's stage, and Amber is, well...she's sorta like a rock star. True? True. (from Goodreads)

When Estelle tells me to read a book, I listen, which is the case with Sorta Like a Rock Star. I'll be honest and admit that I don't think I'd have stumbled across this title otherwise, which would have been such a shame! 

Sorta Like a Rock Star is definitely one of the more fun contemporaries I've read this year, in spite of the heavy issues alluded to in the summary. While it took a couple of chapters to get me settled in properly with this story, it was totally worth it in the end. True? True.

Amber Appleton is a girl with unusual circumstances. She lives on a bus with her mother, takes showers and eats what she can at one of her best friend's houses, is part of a school organization with a bunch of oddball boys and volunteers at a local church and a senior center. With that much on her plate, you'd think that Amber would collapse into a ball and die of exhaustion (physical or emotional), but the girl is a ball of energy, optimism and strength. She has an unusual way of thinking (which takes some getting used to), but it fits right in with who she is.

But then, the great tragedy strikes. A tragedy that turns Amber's world upside down.

It's almost as if a switch is flicked, and Amber becomes a robot. She goes through the motions, even as despair and doubt threaten to drown her. My heart completely broke for her, and it was no hardship to understand where her anger, sorrow and doubts were coming from. Her situation, as viewed through her eyes, is hopeless.

And yet, as I've said before, Sorta Like a Rock Star is hopeful. How so, you might wonder, after reading the previous paragraph. Well, turns out that Amber has a great support system in her best friends, her favorite priest and the Korean ladies from church, her friends at the senior center and many, many more. Just seeing how much people were willing to reach out to Amber and help her in a time of need spoke volumes of her impact on them and their lives, and I loved that. 

The latter parts of the novel keep on building up the good and the hope until it spills out into the awesomeness of the ending. I've not felt so positive or hopeful while reading in a long time, so that's definitely a bonus!

Sorta Like a Rock Star might sound like your usual contemporary fare, but it's not. Amber Appleton is an unusual character, surrounding herself with unusual people (who you will get to meet and fall in love with in this novel). While it might take some time to get used to everything, I promise you this: Amber Appleton's story is worth a read. True? True.


  1. I've never heard of this book before, but you got me interested when you said she lived on a bus. It sounds like a very different set of characters to what I'm used to, so I'm keen to check this book out. Lovely review :)

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  2. I've wanted to read this one for so long - it sounds really intriguing and different. Great review, Alexa!

  3. I love that we are raising awareness of this book. I knew you would like it ;)

  4. When Estelle and you rec a book, I have to read it! *adds to tbr*

  5. I love Matthew Quick, this is the only YA of his that I have yet to read and honestly if you and Estelle love it, then that is good enough for me.

  6. When Estelle first read this book and rated it 5 stars, I had to get my hands on it right then! Haha, thankfully we had it at work, so I took it home and put it on my shelf, where it's been ever since. I'm horrible at reading my library books! I WILL get to it soon. The fact that Estelle AND Alexa both loved it? I'd be stupid not to read that book!! :) Great review, Alexa!


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