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Book Review: DJ Rising

Saturday, March 3, 2012
DJ Rising
by Love Maia

4 stars: Recommended
Format: Hardback
Publication: February 6, 2012
Pages: 304
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Buy it: Amazon (Hardback) | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

The first thing I hear is music. The first thing I've always heard is music.

Meet Marley, an unassuming high school junior who breathes in music like oxygen. In between caring for his heroin-addicted mother, and keeping his scholarship at a fancy prep school, he dreams of becoming a professional DJ.

When chance lands Marley his first real DJ job, his career as "DJ Ice" suddenly skyrockets. But when heart-rending disaster at home brings Marley crashing back down to earth, he is torn between obligation and following his dreams.

If there's a character to admire, it's Marley. He sets high goals and works hard to maintain his scholarship in an expensive prep school. In addition, he works as a DJ while caring for his heroin-addicted mother. True, Marley wants a normal childhood, but he still makes something of his situation. Marley is far from perfect, but he is a protagonist that you want to support, someone you want to see rise and live the American dream.

The plot focuses on the characters and Marley's path as a DJ, and I loved learning more about the art of being a DJ. Marley's love for music is beautiful. While I don't know much about music in general, being the book nerd that I am, I found myself invested in the story and empathizing with Marley. Marley's friends are equally amazing and just as real. They give you a sense for the world Marley lives in. He has Chuckie and Scuz, Latreece, and Hawk, among others. There is also a hint of romance, as Marley has his eyes on a girl who doesn't seem to know he exists.

Love Maia tackles her novel with grit and realness. There are drugs, substance abuse, and strong language. DJ Rising is about hope, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
2 comments on "Book Review: DJ Rising"
  1. I've never read anything about the behind the scenes life of being a DJ - so cool.

    And Marley sounds like a great guy - strong and likable.

  2. I know next to nothing about the world of music and being a DJ, but I expect that Marley's story would pull me in through his character and hardships. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)

    Sarah Bibi Setar


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