‘”Don’t put your life in the hands of a rock and roll band, Jody. We’ll throw it all away”‘
If Jody has a God then he comes in the form of Jackson Gatlin, lead singer of her favourite band, The Regulators. She wears the clothes he loves, she reads the books he loves, she even became a vegetarian because Jackson Gatlin is a vegetarian. Put simply, she worships the ground he walks on. But, one day, when she attends one of their concerts and ends up accidentally kidnapping him, she discovers just why you should never meet your heroes.
When I started reading this book, I was under no delusion that I was, in any way, it’s target audience, but I still really kind of loved it. It’s light-hearted fun that doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not, and ten years ago I would’ve gobbled that up. As it was, I still really enjoyed it, solely because, like most people, I used to be Jody.
We’ve all had that one band, that one performer, whom we’d get up at the crack of dawn for, every Saturday, to catch a glimpse of on CD:UK, and reading this book is kind of like reliving that, and then it’s about reminding ourselves why we grew out of it. For all intensive purposes, it’s a coming-of-age story with a musical twist.
The plot itself is pretty basic, if you’re looking for depth you won’t find much, but, let’s be honest, if you pick up a book about a girl who accidentally kidnaps a rock god you’re not going to be expecting Shakespeare. CJ Skuse’s writing style is fun and amusing, and I loved the endless musical references that were thrown in there; I almost want to go back and re-read it in order to find them all, but I particularly loved this Stones-inspired one:
‘I feed Cree some spaghetti on toast and settle her in front of Spongebob in the lounge, which wild horses couldn’t tear her away from…’
The whole book is told from Jody’s point-of-view, and I can definitely see how a lot of younger readers will be able to relate to her as the stereotypical idol-obsessed teenager. From an adult reader’s perspective, I didn’t find her an overly likeable character. This is largely because she often does things that are pretty irrational, but I am fully aware that, if I had been in her situation in my band-obsessed days, i’d probably have done similarly stupid things.
Overall, I enjoyed Rockoholic for what it was: a light-hearted story full of hilarious, and often cringe-worthy, escapades. I’m sure had this book been around when I was a teenager I would’ve loved it more, but from an adult’s perspective it was still a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and is a easy read with a lot of heart.
This is part of a series of reviews I am writing leading up to YA Shot, a UK day-long convention celebrating Young Adult and Middle Grade literature, which takes place on October 28th 2015.
To read more reviews from authors attending the convention, click here.