Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Review: Rockoholic by C. J. Skuse

Rockoholic by C. J. Skuse
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: March 7th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place!

From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of last year’s super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts. Hilariously and sharply explores the fantasy and reality of celebrity obsession through a teenager’s eyes. C. J. Skuse has been billed as the new Nick Hornby for teens.
(from Goodreads)

Rockoholic is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a very long time. This book had the ability to make me laugh out loud at three in the morning – I had to stuff a pillow over my face to stop myself from waking anyone up! And when you’re sitting in your bedroom with a book in one hand, clasping a pillow to your face with the other and laughing yourself silly, this can only mean that you’ve just read a very, very good book.

Jody, our main character, was what I can only described as completely and utterly obsessed with rock star called Jackson, the lead singer of the band “The Regulators”. And by obsessed, I mean obsessed – she was fanatical. She kissed his posters goodnight, she was vegetarian because she read that Jackson was a vegetarian, she collected zebra toys because she saw that Jackson liked zebras on a Wikipedia article, she read Stephen King novels because Jackson once said he liked them and she believed that one day they’d meet, fall in love and get married– it was crazy! I have to admit, at the beginning, I thought she was quite immature for her age because she had such unrealistic fantasies. But there’s no denying that her whole obsession was just hilarious – I have no idea how Jody’s best friend Mac put up with it all! Especially when it led to Jody accidentally kidnapping Jackson himself. Yes, you read that right. Jody was now stuck with a rockstar in her garage, who not only refused to go back to his band, but refused to leave Jody at all! How did she get herself into such a pickle? All I’m saying is that I can never look at a Curly Wurly (one of the most delicious chocolate bars England has to offer) in the same way ever again.

One thing about Rockoholic that I really loved was that it was very English. There were a lot of references to English culture, for example supermarkets and TV shows (oh, Jeremy Kyle), and there was quite a lot of Brit-slang as well, that Jackson, who was an American rockstar, certainly found hard to understand. I never thought the American-English language barrier could ever be so funny, but it was! The looks of confusion on Jackson’s face when he didn’t understand something Jody or Mac had said almost brought tears to my eyes, it was that funny! Oh, you’ll see what I mean if you read this book (which you totally should). I’m laughing just thinking about it...

Another thing I really liked was the way the characters developed.  I liked Jody from the beginning, despite her obsession, because she was quite sarcastic and funny, but also a very kind person. She was still mourning the loss of her granddad, who she loved a lot, and so was understandably very confused sometimes, and didn’t know what to do, or which path in life was right for her.  I felt a little sorry for her because Jody always felt like she could never compare to her sister Halley, who was the “golden child” of the family. Jackson was much the same; as a jaded rockstar who’d fallen from the pedestal everyone put him on, he too was confused about what he should do with his life. But both Jody and Jackson changed a lot in this book, and they overcame a lot of problems together (it’s amazing how this novel could be so hilarious and yet quite moving at the same time). By the end of the story, Jody was no longer the immature fangirl she used to be, and I grew to love her even more. Jackson was also no longer an unhappy, spoilt brat, and I think being with Jody and Mac helped him so much – he even started playing with Cree, Mac’s little sister, which was a huge change for him. He was actually a lot wiser than I first expected him to be, and was able to help Jody with a few of her problem as well as finally sorting out his own. Even Mac worked up to courage to change a few things in his life, and I have to say, Mac was one of my favourite characters. He was quirky, funny, and very loveable, and was always willing to help Jody, even when it was with something as crazy as looking after a kidnapped celebrity – he truly was the best friend a girl could have.

The ending of Rockoholic was just perfect in my opinion, and though everything was wrapped up, I was really sad to see these characters go. I had grown really attached to Jody, Jackson and Mac – they were all people I could relate to in some way, and I think I’m really gonna miss them.

Overall, I loved Rockholic – it was a fun, light, wonderful book with a heart-warming underlying message, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good summer read, or for anyone who just feels like laughing their head off.


  1. I hadn't heard of this before, but now I definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the great review! :)

  2. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! I totally loved it! Have you read Pretty Bad Things yet, CJ's other book? It's awesome!

  3. Oooh, the cover of this is lovely! Glad you enjoyed it (:

  4. This one sounds so fun! I'll have to read it soon :)

    CURLY WURLY. You British people have all the good chocolate. Sometimes I think my family in England wonder if I only visit for the chocolate (it may or may not be true) (okay, so it's not, but I totally would).

    Okay, I've just completely overshadowed your review with chocolate... I liked it though! :P The book sounds hilarious.

  5. Oh, this sounds so awesome! Another I haven't heard of yet. ;) So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Sounds like a sweet book. I wonder if it's published in the US - are you British or American? I like that it's very English. A lot more fun for an American like me to read.

  7. This sounds freaking awesome. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have picked this book up had I not read your review. But it sounds hilarious! Any book that has a person laughing themselves that hard is a book I have to read. And it sounds so much fun. Great review!!

    And Curly Wurly's! We have them here too! I remember often buying them for 60 cents at my primary school canteen :D

  8. great review! I loved this one so so much! Its one I'm definitely going to re-read!

  9. Fab review!
    I REALLY want to read this book :D


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