title: D J Rising
author: Love Maia
date: Little Brown and Company, February 2012
main character: Marley Johnnywas Diego-Dylan aka DJ Ice
“…Try not to get into too much trouble with the ladies. Any questions? I hate questions by the way.”
“No question,” I tell him, even though I didn’t understand hardly anything he said.
“Great. You’ll do great, guy. I gotta go and you’ve got everything. There’s nothing to it. Go make something of yourself out there.” Donnie flashes a set of super-white teeth before turning and slipping away towards the back of the club.
Go make something of yourself. It’s the only thing he said that sticks. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Make something of yourself, Marly. You can do this.
Marley says the first thing he heard when he was born was music and music is always the first thing that he hears. After his father died some years before, his mother took to drugs. She brings a steady stream of low life boyfriends through their home while Marley watches and waits for her to be the mother she once was. Marley, at 15, works a full time job and attends a local private school on a scholarship where he is made to feel like an outsider because of his lower economic status. He has two of the best friends ever written in YA but they have absolutely no clue what their friend’s life is really like. Of course he has eyes for one of the most attractive girls in the school. As if this isn’t enough for him, he accepts a weekly gig working as a DJ at an over 21 club and this is where Marley’s passion truly lies. He wants to be a DJ, like his dad.
Maia gives us a story of a young man who is essentially making it on his own, but she fails to develop his struggle. Everything comes just too easy with little to no conflict. I couldn’t understand why Marley made the effort to attend this private school when college was not on his agenda.
While I could definitely feel Marley’s love for music when he described his DJ sessions, I found the author to be uncomfortable in describing technical details relating to the craft. I can’t say I was sold on her writing in a male voice, either.
I read an advanced copy of the book and hope that several issues in grammar were corrected before final release.
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