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DJ Rising
Cover of DJ Rising
DJ Rising
by Love Maia
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.
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.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.3
  • Lexile:
    870
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5


About the Author-
  • Love Maia has worked construction, flown planes, and starred in an infomercial. As a writer, she relates deeply to her main character, Marley, sharing his passion for music and his belief in dreaming big. She loves the freeing energy of the club world, as well as pizza, kickboxing, butterflies, death metal, and underground hip-hop. When not hard at work on her next novel, Love can be found playing drums in an alternative rock band at various bars and clubs around San Francisco.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2011
    From Coltrane to disco to old-school hip-hop, an energetic tale of a teen disc jockey's struggle to reach the top. Sixteen-year-old Marley Diego-Dylan is one of the only kids in his elite high school on financial aid. His father died a few years back, and his mom spends her days strung out on heroin in front of the television. Marley fights to keep everything together, but he dreams of becoming a star DJ. His career surges when he lands a substitute gig at a local club. Soon he's spinning vinyl at the hottest clubs. When his mother's situation take a turn for the worst, however, he's reality-checked back into his old life and must choose between his dreams and his old responsibilities. Maia's first teen novel balances true-to-life urban teenspeak, well-drawn characters and a plot that often seems too good to be true. The descriptions of Marley's--aka DJ Ice--DJ sessions are near euphoric, and music fans will love learning about the artists he blends for the dance floor. The novel itself feels just as glossy as the DJ sequences and lacks much of the realistic grit that other works embrace, such as Coe Booth's Tyrell (2006). Still, readers will relish reading about Marley's rise to fame despite his harrowing situation. A new voice worth watching. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2012

    Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Marley Johnnywas Diego-Dylan dreams of escaping the small apartment he shares with his heroin-addicted mother and her stream of short-term boyfriends. His life is divided between his job at a high-end restaurant; at Ellington Prep, where he's a scholarship student; and the time he spends building his skills and reputation as a DJ. At school, he's shy and longs for rich, beautiful Lea Hall, but behind his turntables he's in his element. As music consumes more and more of his time, he struggles to balance education, romance, and caring for his mother, until he's forced to make some difficult choices. Maia's debut novel recalls Coe Booth's Tyrell (Scholastic, 2007) and Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry (Walker, 2008), but it lacks the drama and romance of those novels. For all the difficulty in his life, Marley's struggles are resolved far too easily to create narrative tension. His relationship with his mother feels forced; the conflict between them is resolved too neatly, and his mother's ultimate overdose is expected. There's no suspense in the DJ contest he enters, and his stern musical mentor comes across as bland. For readers interested in being DJs, there may be some rewarding passages. Otherwise, spend time spinning with Tyrell.-Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 15, 2011
    Grades 8-12 *Starred Review* Born in a first-aid tent at a Bob Marley concert, 16-year-old half-black/halfPuerto Rican Marley Johnnywas Diego-Dylan entered the world surrounded by music. In this fresh debut, music continues to course through Marley's veins as he dreams of becoming a professional DJ and spinning records at Fever, the hottest nightclub. If not for this dream, he might not survive his daily reality: a dead father, busing tables six nights a week at a fancy restaurant to support his heroin-addict mother, being shunned for being a transplant (scholarship student) at an elitist prep school, and suffering an unrequited crush on popular Lea. When Marley scores an audition at a top Fever competitor, assumes the name DJ Ice, and realizes a date with Lea may be imminent, his future looks brighter than ever. But interrupted by tragedy, Marley finds himself torn between obligation and fame. This gritty, pulsating peek into a lesser-known world reverberates with the energy of a thumping dance club. Clashes with Marley's mentor, a spinning purist who uses only vinyl, bring out the subtleties of the art form and the ongoing debate between vinyl and DJ software. Blending both forms to crowd-pleasing results, Marley fights for what he wants, and it is a fight well worth reading.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

  • The Horn Book

    July 1, 2012
    Aspiring DJ Marley attends a ritzy private school on full scholarship by day and works to support his drug-addicted mother at night. After getting the opportunity to showcase his abilities, he's invited to compete in an elite DJ battle at the hottest club in the city. Marley's energetic, musical narrative voice weaves an interesting exploration of obligation and ambition.

    (Copyright 2012 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • OverDrive Read
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