Monday, December 17, 2012

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

Goodreads Description: "She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage?

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..." 

Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave. 

It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?!"

My Review: My first confession? My review may be a bit biased, because I know EXACTLY how Jody feels about The Regulators. My favorite band is All Time Low, and I've been a hardcore dedicated fan for years now. So I know what it's like to put all your faith and soul into one band. However, the difference is that All Time Low is a lot more laid back and they don't do all the deviant stuff that The Regulators were known for, so I can't really connect to that. But the obsession with the band? I GET that. Okay, moving on... My second confession? I loved this book! It was sweet and heartbreaking but also pretty funny, at times! 
         I just really loved how this book was a good mix of everything. It was definitely funny, with the crazy hi-jinks Jody pulled and the idiotic situations she got herself---and her best friend, Mac---into. And it was entertaining and sort of deep, seeing the nonsense Jody went through in trying to help Jackson recover from his demons and become a better person. And it was sweet and almost a little sad, with Jody and her relationship with Mac and her bad relationship with her mother and missing her grandfather a lot. I just really loved the emotions in the books. It wasn't too much of one thing or too much of another. And it didn't get too deep, dark, or preach-y, which is something that bothers me about books. 
          The book had some of the plot of that ABC Family movie Taking Five where the girls kidnapped their favorite band and held them captive in their basement, and it sang along the same tune as one one of my favorite books, Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (review here), which is about another teenage girl caught up in the crazy world of bands and band members---but it also had its own, quirky feeling (helped along by the fact that  it takes place in England). 
        I just loved all the characters. Jody's grandfather sounded like a total boss and I wish the readers could have gotten a chance to meet him. Jody herself was very relate-able---just a girl who wanted to fit in, stand out, be loved, and not feel so alone...and who doesn't relate to those feelings? Jackson himself was a total jerk and a loser for the first half of the story but I began to feel sorry for him and eventually wish the best for him. And Mac! God, I LOVED Mac! What an awesome and hilarious best friend! Everyone needs a sarcastic-yet-loyal friend like Mac. And I loved that he had a 2-year-old sister, Cree. Having a 2-year-old sister myself, I could relate. 
      The ending was bittersweet and very raw...but satisfying, in a sad sort of way. And Jody and Mac's ending? PERFECT. And that's all I can say! 

Cover: Funny and it fits the dark-yet-funny theme of the book pretty well. I like it! The snapshots of the other poses the models did on the back of the book were great as well! 

Overall Grade: A-

Posh and Prejudice by Grace Dent

Goodreads Description: "The divine Shiraz Bailey Wood is back in this hilarious sequel to Diva Without a Cause (a.k.a Diary of a Chav) to enlighten us with her signature brand of madcap humor on her demented, glorious life in the gritty suburbs of London.

When sixteen-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood's year-end test results come in, she's astonished to discover not only that she passed them all, but that she's actually clever! Emboldened by an invite to higher-level classes, Shiraz enrolls in Superchav Academy's "Center of Excellence" to get even brainier.

Hanging with goody-two- shoes types in higher-level classes seems like just the ticket to avoid getting stuck forever in her crap hometown. But Shiraz has to figure out for herself: are these posh types really any better than she, or do they just want to stick their noses up at everyone?"

My Review: Shizza's back! And she's funnier than ever. I really loved Diary of a Chav. It definitely wasn't the best-written book ever and it didn't have some deep, heartbreaking plot---but hearing Shiraz's raw, "keepin'-it-real" voice was hilarious and a reminder that even people that the world likes to look down on---"chavs, trailer trash, ghetto people"---have feelings and thoughts and opinions and dreams. It was almost a wake-up call. And Posh and Prejudice was much the same thing---it was a wake-up call that not everyone's parents think college and a higher education are the best thing in the world (shocking to someone like me), and that some people have to fight to do something as simple as getting a higher education. 
      As for the book itself, its strengths really lay with the characters, as always with Grace Dent's hilarious British books. The plot was, of course, interesting! I loved seeing Shiraz go to the sixth form and try her hardest to fit in but also keep it real. Her struggles to make sense of Wesley and attention from a handsome new preppy rich guy were also cute to read about. Shiraz is so tough but so innocent, in some ways, with a heart of gold---that's what makes her so lovable. 
     Carrie disappointed me a bit in this book. Not much attention was given to her or her friendship with Shiraz, until the very end of the book. However, I did like seeing the character progression with Uma (and it was something I NEVER saw coming!). I have to admit: as someone raised by parents who highly emphasized the importance of a higher, quality education, I was a bit disappointed with Shiraz's decision at the end of the book. However, then I found out that there were MORE books after this, so perhaps things will turn around in future books! 
      For now, the story was heartwarming and also so funny that I literally had to control my laughter at time. Some of Shiraz's observations about the world around her are too funny to believe. And her family? WOW, the Bailey-Woods are hilarious, especially her insane mother. Anyway, this was a great follow-up to Diary of a Chav and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series! 

Cover: SO CUTE! It actually fits the theme of the series: bright, poppy, fun colors and a cute ghetto-fabulous girl who's wearing things that most people would call "tacky" or "chav-y" but who also looks really hopeful and cheerful. And that pretty much describes Shiz to a T! 

Grade: A-