Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit, loses her precious moon rock, and bodysurfs backstage, she ends up with more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. And now he doesn't want to leave.
It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series . . . but who got punk'd?!
When I opened this book and saw that it starts off with lyrics from Pearl Jam's Black, one of my favorite songs of all time, I knew I was going to enjoy it! Once I started, I couldn't put this book down and spent the better part of the first 100 pages, laughing out loud (literally) until I cried.
At first, Jody's obsession with Jackson seems a bit over the top and her concert experience extreme, but in all honesty, if you swapped out me for her and Joey McEntire from N.K.O.T.B. for Jackson and The Regs, then you get an idea of what my own teenage obsession looked like. (Fainting spells and all.)
But when Jody finally gets Jackson where she wants him, she quickly realizes that often times the dream is better (and a lot nicer) than the reality. Now she's stuck with a rockstar whose going through some kind of withdrawal not just from pills but from life itself and she isn't prepared to handle it on her own. Her BFF Mac (who I adored) has always been there to clean up her messes but even he can't get her out of this one. Besides, Mac's got enough to worry about with his own life which includes helping to care for his 2 year old sister, Cree and fending off rumors about his sexuality.
Then there's Jackson...he is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute he's calm and semi-rational and the next he's worse than Cree when she's missed her nap. Speaking of Cree, there's a scene involving her, Jackson, and a cat door that had me laughing until my stomach hurt.
Like most things, the situation goes from bad to worse and before it all ends, they'll all learn some hard lessons about love, friendship and what's really important in life. The truth hurts sometimes but it can also be the one thing that sets us free to live the life we really want too.
She’s spent years dreaming of the moment when the lead singer of her favorite band, Jackson Gatlin, will realize that he’s in love with her. She’s been counting on the moment, even though her best friend, Mac, (who may or may not be gay), thinks she’s being ridiculous. But who cares? She has tickets to see Jackson’s show! Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and Jody ends up accidentally “kidnapping” Jackson, much to Mac’s horror and Jody’s delight.
I have never, in my life, read a book or thought it was possible to write a book about kidnapping someone via candy bar. That basic premise, while seemingly unlikely, is just so hilarious and over the top that it works. And what comes after the kidnapping was completely different from what I’d expected.
Rochoholic, despite its cutesy, girl-obsessed-with-superstar exterior, is a book with a lot of heart. I’ll admit that I was completely blown away by how C.J. Skuse handled the topic.
Jody, the main character, starts off as a celebrity-stalker girl, who’s so ridiculous in her obssession that you can’t help but roll your eyes and know change is a-comin’. And it did, because it turns out that the awesome Jackson is a paranoid drug-dependent mess—hardly a teen girl’s idea of romantic.
So Jody’s struggling with the downfall of her idol, and learning how to be herself, all while juggling her job, her best friend, and suspicious reporters who want to know where Jackson went, if he’s dead or not. Jody’s growth as a person from beginning to end of the novel is huge, and as she comes into her own, I couldn’t help cheering her on.
Rockoholic is actually a lot more serious than I would have thought possible, and I loved Skuse’s portrayal of her characters and how they interact with one another. And while, yes, it is possible that this book’s basic premise is a bit silly and clichéd, I thought it was genuine and real at the same time.
My biggest complaint is the typical DPS—even a book as awesome as Rockholic is not immune! Jody’s mum is mostly absent from the picture, and she’s completely oblivious to the fact that a 27 year-old American superstar is living in her garage, and has been doing so for about 2 weeks. Once again: why do authors chose plots that, in order to work, require the parent’s completely idiocy? It gives parents a bad name.
But, like I said, Rockoholic is an awesome book. Jody’s character is amazing, Mac, Jackson, and Cree were fantastic supporting characters, and the story, overall is sweet and touching and cuddly. I loved this book.
Rockoholic is a distant relative of that story. Distant because it did not start out as a fanfic and it's more focused on rock stars than boy bands. Also, the trope of a girl meeting members of the band and one or more members falling in love with her? It gets torn to shreds in Rockoholic to great effect. Equal parts funny and sad, Skuse's novel is a great way to whittle away the hours and see how our idols are rarely who we expect them to be.
The initial premise of Jody kidnapping her rock idol Jackson Gatlin with a Curly Wurly bar (they look like this) requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief to make it work. As Jody informs us, it's also a melted Curly Wurly bar, so it isn't as straight as it appears in the picture, and Jackson believes it's a knife. He would need to be pretty heavily strung out on drugs for that to seem possible. To be fair, he is strung out on drugs enough to strip naked and toss all his clothes off a bridge shortly thereafter.
For the funny half of the novel, Jody's interactions with Jackson can be funny at times and the punny/silly chapter titles (Must Hang Sally; Softly, Softly, Catch a Junkie; Please Don't Feed the Diva) managed a few giggles out of me too. It's not a difficult story to get invested in, especially once the rock-star-falls-in-love-with-groupie trope starts getting subverted.
On the other hand, it's a quiet exploration of how fame has changed Jackson and turned him into a drug addict who has to take red berries just to get on stage for his shows and then take blackberries to calm him down again. He used to love the spotlight and making music, but now it only makes him miserable. Worse, he can't escape. The band manager's ire at Jackson's disappearance leaves one band member with broken bones, an ambulance woman in need of plastic surgery, and a roadie on life support after being beaten to a pulp. I don't blame Jackson for refusing to go back to the band. As he comes down off the drugs and starts to be a person rather than an idea (and a demanding one that that, considering how he treats Jody initially), he starts to take over the story.
Still, Jody has her own story that takes the stage. Her grandfather has just died (of crashing through the window of a lingerie store in his wheelchair, natch; just the way he'd want to go), she has a dead-end job at a daycare center, and she has a lot of issues with her mom and sister. The grandfather's death felt a little like a plot device sometimes, such as when Jody's inheritance from him moves the plot along, but more often, it feels like something real that has affected her and leads her to all the places she goes in this novel.
But Jody. Oh, Jody. Her schemes to hide Jackson range from taking pictures of him in the Italian District to make it look like he's in Italy (which backfires badly in the end) to telling a reporter who knows the photos were taken in the Italian District that she was actually in Italy to take the photos (which can easily be debunked by talking to people) and all of them are terrible. She's such a dim bulb that she no longer lights up and it can be difficult to deal with. She is rightfully called out on her stupidity throughout the story, but some ideas were just too dumb for a good call-out to make me forgive.
And deciding her best friend was gay because of his interests and holding that position for years? Ugh. I'm glad everyone told her off on how dumb that was.
I'd be happy to read more of C.J. Skuse's novel, provided the main characters have a few more brain cells than Jody.
*Pretty funny at times
*Great character arcs
*Funny, punny chapter titles
Well, that's not exactly how things worked out. As we all know, real life has a way of taking your dreams and tossing it to the wind sometimes. Jody makes it to the concert, but it's only after waiting in a queue all day, getting thrown up on by a drunk guy, racing to the front of the mosh pit and getting squeezed to death by the rambunctious crowd, and pummeled by security that she finally gets her moment with Jackson and it doesn't last long at all.
In a crazy tangle of events, Jody ends up kidnapping Jackson, but he's nothing like the guy that she had built him up to be in her head. In actuality, he's a desperate junkie and an incredibly rude jerkface who ends up clinging to Jody because he wants away from the spotlight, his suffocating manager, and his life as a rockstar. However, with the whole world missing their favorite frontman, how long can she keep him hidden in her grandpa's old garage while he detoxes?
My Opinion: Man, when I read the blurb for this book on Goodreads and saw the cover, I was desperate to get my hands on it. Luckily for me, Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes: The "Pusher" of Books & Cupcakes , allowed me to borrow the ARC she received from Scholastic and I was over-the-moon excited about it. Sadly, though it was a relatively good novel, this book turned out to be nothing that I thought it was going to be. I suppose I had imagined it to be this tale of a struggling rockstar battling with his inner demons and the outlandish string of events that lead to this girl kidnapping him and when they fell in love, she'd help him see the good in the world again. Well, in a way, that was almost the story I got, but the love was more of a brotherly-sisterly bond and the journey to his recovery was one hell of an uphill battle. Even if I was able to suspend belief and realize this was a work of fiction, some aspects of the story were so out there that I found it rather challenging to connect with the story and the characters, particularly Jody and Jackson.
I did appreciate the focus of how we generally place people, especially celebrities, on pedestals and how we forget that at the end of the day, they're human just like the rest of us. Furthermore, the idea that we can become so infatuated with someone that we fail to see that we have the best potential love right in front of us. Luckily, Jody wised up to Mac before it was too late and their declaration at the end gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings. Mackenzie and Cree were the best things about this story!