Quick, Matthew. Sorta Like a Rock Star. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2010. Print.
Taken from the back cover:
"Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (Thrice B), have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). But Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. Instead, she focuses on bettering the lives of the people around her. But then a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism--and her way of life. Can Amber survive and continue to be the princess of hope?
With his oddball cast of characters and a heartbreaking, heartwarming, and inspiring story, author Matthew Quick builds a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. This world is Amber's stage, and Amber is...well, she's sorta like a rock star. True? True."
I think this summary is spot on! Amber helps others because she wants to help them. When circumstances happen, those she helped in turn help her with the most generous of hearts.
I enjoyed Amber's character. Early in the book, I wasn't sure I could get past the "WORD" interruptions she throws out there, but I stuck with the book and when I finished, I smiled. It was refreshing and heartwarming and kind. I think we need to read more kindness.
Amber has a true friend in Donna. Donna is the mom Amber wishes she could have. I liked the tough exterior/role model character that Donna provides the story. Donna's son Ricky is autistic and Quick does a good job making him realistic and dimensional.
I loved the literary allusions. I can tell that Amber is a reader. When she asks her mom about "fishing fo' men" and the mom responds "Nope. Nothing." Amber replies with, "a good man is hard to find" (Quick 11). As Flannery O'Connor is one of my top three favorite writers, I really enjoyed this allusion.
The Hope vs. Pessimism contest every Wednesday made me laugh. Joan of Old faces off with Amber. Amber always wins. At first, I though this was a bit far-fetched, but Quick wrapped it back around and that story line became integral to the conclusion.
A week before reading this book, I was watching Katie Couric's talkshow. Her guests were Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper, and they were talking about this movie they made entitled, Silver Linings Playbook. It sounded interesting and something I'd like to watch. When I finished reading this book and looked at the back cover, I learned that this author (Mathew Quick) wrote Silver Linings Playbook. Strange timing!