Author: Matthew Quick
Publication Date: 5/1/10
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Blurb (GR): 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.
Why isn't this book more popular? The only reason I know about it is because one day I was browsing my GR friends' shelves looking for a book written by an author whose name starts with "Q" for a reading challenge. How sad is that? Sorta Like a Rock Star deserves better.
Amber Appleton is a peculiar sort of girl. If you have seen Happy-Go-Lucky, Amber is pretty much a younger version of Poppy, an incorrigible optimist. She is the life of the party, she stands up for the weak, cheers up elderly, saves stray dogs, all with never-ending enthusiasm and positivity. Only, as you can expect, such approach to life is not necessarily healthy. It is too much of a burden to hold up so many people. One day, after a particularly devastating event, Amber can't take it any longer and succumbs to depression. Will she be able to pull through?
In an ocean of conventional YA books with recycled plots and characters, Sorta Like a Rock Star stands out. Amber's story is heartbreaking and inspiring. As for the characters, I do not know which one of them I liked the most - Amber, upbeat, hopeful, improper and pushy; or her best doggy friend Thrice B who never fails to hump his canine lady friend even with fresh stitches in his belly; or maybe Private Jackson, a Vietnam vet who copes with his war memories by writing haikus and drinking green tea. I just can't decide...
Speaking of haikus. Can't say I knew much about this poetry form before reading this book, but haikus here had quite an effect on me, meaning, they made me bawl like a baby.