Sunday 5 June 2011

Rockoholic by C.J Skuse

Pages - 368
Published by Chicken House in 2011
Book kindly lent to me by Asamum of Booktopia
Read as part of the Death and Bereavement month over at Once Upon A Bookcase

To our local newspaper, my grandad's death was 'a shocking accident that brought Bristol city centre to a shocking standstill'. To my mum, it was humiliation beyond words and a week's worth of whispers from her colleagues at the bank. To me, it was sadness that could fill a dry sea.

Jody is a typical teenage who is obsessed by a rock star. Don't raise your eyebrows! We have all been there. Jody has her concert ticket to see Jackson Gatlin performing live with his band The Regulators. She waits all day outside, so that she can be right at the front. But when she gets caught up and dragged over the railings she is distraught that she is going to miss the concert.

Whilst nursing concussion backstage, she nearly faints when Jackson comes back stage to see how the fans are.  Not really sure of what she is doing, she offers him a Curly Wurly. He is so high on uppers that he mistakes it for a gun, and Jodie finds herself taking home a rock legend to live in her garage.

This is one of those books that made me laugh and cry.  Jodie is one of those teenagers that takes a while to figure out what she needs to do in order to be grownup and get on with her life.  She gets herself into many situations and lies flow easily from her mouth like the words of a song.  Yet when two incidents occur simultaneously, Jodie gets a short sharp shock about what to do with the rest of her life.

The death of her grandfather affects her immensely. She feels that no one else loved him as much as she did and she is desperate to keep his memory alive. Yet as the book progresses,she realises that she isn't the only one in the family who loved him.  She also begins to understand that she can keep his memory alive in more ways than by hoarding his belongings. This book takes you through the stages of grief that occur to everyone who has loved and I think it helps teenagers to explore the emotions that might be new to them. 

The second incident to affect her is the accidental kidnap of her idol. I found this to be a hilarious situation, especially when Jody's rose tinted glasses are smashed to pieces by Jackson's foul behaviour and extremely outrageous antics.  Jody realises very quickly that Jackson isn't the person she thought he would be. He is just like everyone else.

The relationship between Mac and Jody is just gorgeous,especially when they realise the truth about how they both feel. Mac, is the kind of lad that every girl needs. He is reliable, consistent and carries  on caring and loving Jody, even when she is causing havoc.

It is lovely to see Jody grow up within the book.  She begins to realise that life is for living and not constantly messing around.  By the end of the book, you are happy to be introduce to the new improved Jody who is ready to enter the adult world.

I really did love this book. My only little niggle with it was the fact that Jodie's mother never realised there was a drugged up diva living in her garage at the bottom of the garden. However, this is fiction, and reality can be suspended just this one.

A fantastic debut dealing with difficult topics in a  humorous way.


  1. I LOVED this book so much and am glad to see that it's going to be published in the US next year *grin*. You know I'm going to have to get that HB. So glad you enjoyed it too :)

  2. The cover of this one put me off a bit as it looks so Jacqueline Wilson. But your review made me want to give it a go! Thanks!

  3. It does sound like a really fun read!

  4. Fab review, I loved Rockaholic - I'm glad you loved it too :D

  5. great review, Its brilliant isnt it?! I loved it so much!! :D

  6. This looks interesting- new title to me :)

  7. Nice review, this one does sound like fun YA.

  8. That realisation that your idol isn't who you think he is as you grow up is something I can really relate to. I grew up adoring boybands like Backstreet Boys, 'NSync, 5ive, a1, and now that I'm older, it's shocking to discover that these 'clean cut' boys have been arrested, had drug/drinking problems, etc. Crazy.

    I think I'd like this book. :) I do think there should be more YA books out there that help younger people deal with grief and loss too - When my grandparents passed away, I really didn't know how to feel.


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