Posts tagged ‘sortalikearockstar’

July 1st, 2013

Boy21 by Matthew Quick; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Boy21

Author: Matthew Quick

Published: June 2013

Number of Pages: 250

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He’s always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Erin. But until then, when he puts on his number 21, everything seems to make sense.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. A former teen basketball phenom from a privileged home, his life has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he now answers only to the name Boy21—his former jersey number—and has an unusual obsession with outer space.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, “Boy21” may turn out to be the answer they both need [From Goodreads]

Quote:

“Someday an opportunity will come. Think about Harry Potter. His life is terrible, but then a letter arrives, he gets on a train, and everything is different for him afterward. Better. Magical.”

“That’s just a story.”

“So are we- we’re stories too.”

Review:

As you would know if you were following my blog long ago when I posted a review of Sorta Like a Rockstar, I’m sorta like a Matthew Quick fan. I loved SLARS because it was inspiring and sweet and funny all at the same time. Those were the qualities I was hoping to find in Boy21, and each was represented in a quirky, highly unusual way.

I suppose that’s what stood out most about Boy21. It is a charmingly unusual book. I can honestly say that I have never read anything like it. It deals with issues that I see on TV but have never experienced through a novel, and it deals with them in a way that makes them accessible. Somehow, I found that I was able to understand Finley’s situation, though I’ve never experienced anything even remotely close to what he does. His environment and family are vastly different from mine, but Quick illustrates them in a simple but detailed way that allowed me to feel entirely immersed in Finley’s life.

And, as he did in SLARS, Matthew Quick has introduced readers to another set of wildly lovable characters. For me, there was a distinct sense that I was being introduced to these people, as opposed to a sense that they had been created to tell a story. This story belongs to them, not to the reader or the author. When I realize that, I know that a book is good. The characters have lives of their own, a presence, a realness to them that allows the reader to befriend them. I loved that little attributes of the characters took on more significance as the story was relayed – take Finley’s quietness, for instance.

In fact, that is one of the most remarkable features of the novel – seemingly innocuous things have hidden significance. I eventually realized that this book is a riddle to be puzzled out before it’s understood. As I neared the end, all the little details that had been clattering about in my head fit themselves together into a very complete and very beautiful story of the lives of two boys. It became undeniable that the story belongs to both of them and that it was absolutely essential that Finley and Russ became friends.

If there’s one way to make Madeleine happy, it’s to make friendship a key part of a novel, and that’s what Matthew Quick seems to have done with both SLARS and Boy21. It’s clear that friendship and family have a way of holding together lives that should be falling apart. I find that to be quite inspiring and true. So does Finley, in the end. And that’s why I loved Boy21.

December 22nd, 2010

Five Challenge: Debuts

by Madeleine Rex

Persnickety Snark has a neat challenge/meme going for the last days of the year. I’m terrible at rephrasing things, so I’m going to quote directly:

It’s called the Persnickety Snark FIVE Challenge

From December 21st to 31st I posted daily on different elements of YA. I chose my top five titles/series/moments for each day. It was purely subjective / opinion based but I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on YA for the year.  I am doing the same for 2010.  You can read last year’s efforts here.

I have included the themes for each day below so should you choose to join me you can. It’s a busy time of year so you might even pre-schedule posts or only chime in on the topics that interest you.

The challenge began yesterday, but instead of posting twice on one day, I’m going to skip the re-reads category (I hardly re-read anyway, so it won’t make much of a difference). Today’s (really yesterday’s) challenge? 5 Great Debuts… But it will actually be three because I haven’t read enough debuts.

1. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

My Review

2. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

My Review

3. Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

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.

My Review

All three of these were fantastic books, but I have to step up and say that more people need to read Sorta Like a Rock Star! The other two have gotten so much more hype, but the third deserves just as much!

Anyway, I’m hoping that I’ll actually be able to deliver the desired five books tomorrow with 5 Great Covers!

Good night!

P.S. Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point…

September 2nd, 2010

CLOSED! – A Megalodon of a Giveaway! (Wordbird's One!)

by Madeleine Rex

Yes. Yes, it is that big. And I have no idea what “Taucher” and whatever that other thing is mean either.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (WHICH MIGHT BE AWHILE. SORRY!).

Oh my gosh!!! Wordbird turned one year old yesterday! Madeleine Rex has been blogging for a year. And I haven’t been that irritating or destroyed the World Wide Web accidentally with some wacky Rex Virus. Mission accomplished.

I hope you guys have enjoyed the past year as much as I have. I’ve met so many wonderful people over that time period. I can honestly say that joining this online community is the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing and bookish life . I have so many incredible friends here, all because my dear mother encouraged me to start a blog. I don’t think either of us really thought this would go anywhere… but, surprisingly, it has (and that might just be because you guys have boring day jobs, but I’d like to think there’s more to it than that – and that you guys love your jobs). I’m grateful for you support and friendship.

So, I’m giving you books! Lots of them.

(Links are to my reviews.)

 

  • Amazon Books 10$ Gift Card
  • The Devouring by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Soulstice by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (HB – new)
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Happyface by Stephen Emond (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (old ARC – used – signed)
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (HB)

This giveaway is not international. I sincerely apologize. I simply can’t afford the shipping costs.

The “Grand Prize” winner will receive five books and the Amazon $1o gift card. The second winner will pick three of the remaining books, and the third winner will win the last three.

To enter the giveaway, use the form linked below.

No, not the one over there! Here.

This giveaway ends on Monday, October 4th. Extended to October 20th! We’ve had 151 entrants so far! (Edited October 4th)

So exciting!

Thanks again to Little Brown for the wonderful package of four books! I never cease to be amazed.