Thursday, February 23, 2012

DJ Rising by Love Maia

For Marley Johnnywas Diego-Dylan, music just isn't an interest; it's part of who he is. Music is as essential as breathing and just as natural. His days are filled with school and work (and thinking about Lea Hall, the girl of his dreams) and supporting his heroin-addicted mother, but when he lets loose on his turntables, all of that fades away. His goal of becoming a professional DJ seems even closer when he gets the chance to show his stuff in public. That sets in motion a chain of events that give Marley (now DJ Ice) the chance to be the hottest young DJ in the city. The intense schedule of work and DJing is stretching him to the limit - and his mother is getting worse. How is Marley going to balance it all?

Without knowing anything of the DJ world, DJ Rising managed to bring me inside the world of clubs and music. That's one of the key strengths of this book; the story of trying to be the best, to overcome opposition, and to prove yourself is universal, no matter what industry you're in.  Marley is a character you can't help but root for, but I discovered just how deep my connection was to him. Partway through the book, he experiences a terrible, devastating betrayal. When I read this part, my stomach just dropped. I felt physically ill for his loss. At the other end of the spectrum, Marley's passion for music, dance, and joyful expression grabbed me. I love when characters are passionate and inspired; it helps them to feel like three-dimensional people. This is an incredible debut for author Love Maia and a great book for teen readers to dive into.

Find out more about Love Maia at her website.

Find it at IndieBound. 

I received an advance copy from Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

Read it with:
Playground by 50 Cent
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

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