Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: DJ Rising, by Love Maia

While I felt DJ Rising might be a bit unrealistic, it was an interesting, heartwarming story.

Marley has a hard life. His mother is a heroin addict, so Marley must earn enough to support both himself and his mother. Totally on his own. He' attending a prestigious high school on scholarship, and all the rich kids at the school know he's not one of them. But he has a strong desire to go to college, and he works hard and gets straight As.

But, the most important thing to Marley is music. His dad, who was killed in a car accident, got him started DJing, and Marley's band instructor has helped him hone his skills. It's all Marley dreams of -- being a DJ at a popular club.

Marley gets some opportunities to DJ, and meets some people who help him. He also makes some progress in the romance department. Things might be looking up at home too. For a while, Marley sees all his dreams coming true.

Marley really has it together. Almost too much together. He has some great friends, but really not much of a support system, and at the beginning of DJ Rising he's working and studying, and cleaning and cooking and it all seems a bit too easy.

There are a lot of descriptions of being a DJ. The songs he plays and how he mixes them together. Also, how he tries to create his own music. All the parts about his passion for music and DJing got really repetitive.

My favorite part of DJ Rising is the last 25%. The tension builds. Marley meets some real obstacles and he overcomes them successfully. Parts of this resolution are a bit lucky, but it still made me feel good.

Teens who love music would definitely be drawn to DJ Rising. It's a story about how working hard and sticking with your dreams can all pay off--a message that's important to today's teens.

Published by Little, Brown BFYR, 2012
Purchased eBook
304 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. OK. Time for true confessions. Will you buy this book for your library? My budget is getting tighter each year and I hoate buying books that just end up sitting on the shelf.

    1. I will because it's been nominated for the 2015 Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award ( Otherwise, I might have purchased it because it's a good multicultural book. I know what you mean, though. Budgets are tight. At lease you can get the paperback, which I am willing to do if I think a book isn't going to be heavily read.


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