Publication Date: November 1st, 2012
Scholastic Inc. / Chicken House
Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
This is one of those books that would require the reader’s patience to fully appreciate all its quirky nuisances. It was touch and go there for a while. You need to practice self-control and curb your judgments until you’ve read the entire book. Needless to say, I made a fool of myself on Goodreads again.
Here’s the Story, Morning Glory:
Jody’s obsession with Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators reached new heights as she found herself inadvertently kidnapping her dream man, the love of her life, her hero. What would’ve been a simple error easily corrected by handing over the rock god back to his manager turned into an epic game of hide-a-rock-star-from-the-world. This is just what she’s been praying for, right? To spend all her precious time with her idol and serve him hand and foot. But it doesn’t take long until Jackson shows his true colors: diva extraordinaire, abusive and a celebrity on the brink of a drug withdrawal. Jody gets the butt of his temper tantrums. She gets puked on, gets food thrown at her face, and worse, peed on. When she had had enough, Jody threw him out but to her chagrin, Jackson refused to leave the sanctuary of her garage. She soon realized that the Jackson she’s known all her life doesn’t come close to the real Jackson in her garage. Stuck with a temperamental jerk whose personal vocabulary did not include the words, thank you and sorry, Jody will learn a few home truths about herself, about Mac and which Jackson was worthy of her devotion.
Like I said, you need to be patient with this book. Jody was a hard person to like in the beginning. She was an insipid, sniveling girl who took all of Jackson’s abuse. She was blinded to everything about Jackson that she didn’t appreciate the extent of her best friend’s devotion to make her happy until it was almost too late. Truthfully, I would’ve given up by say, third chapter. But I didn’t. I don’t know. I think it’s the Pearl Jam’s Black quote at the beginning of the book that held me back. That alone gave the book so much promise and it’s what saw me through.
If you persevere to read this book until the end, you will appreciate the growth Jody went through. You will see that moment when she realized that Jackson is just a man, not a god, not an idol. He’s a scared boy – a terrified, tired, burnt-out rock star who wanted none of the life his celeb status afforded him. He wanted to get clean – free of an addiction that his manager got him hooked on. When at first you will be annoyed with him, you will find yourself sympathizing for the mess of a man he turned out to be and rooting for the person he wanted to be.
This book boasts some pretty lovable secondary characters: there’s grandpa, whose own funeral involved a rock anthem and a food fight of epic proportion. He’s been Jody’s rock god even before Jackson came into the picture. His death tore her apart but his life lessons are the edict that Jody follows like the law. There’s Cree – adorable, lovable, sweet Cree. She’s a two point five year-old girl toddler who provides all the honey with her innocence and unconditional love – for her brother, for Jody and for Jackson. Jackson found a certain closeness to this little girl because according to him, Cree didn’t know any better. And then there’s Mac – black nail polish, skinny jeans, guy-liner. Jody has always perceived her best friend gay but Jackson opened her eyes and showed her a Mackenzie she was all too blind to see. All of a sudden, she realized that if all else fails in her life, Mac will be the one constant she can’t live without. Le sigh.
The author used humor and sweetness to tell a story that’s otherwise deceptively heavy. It dealt with grief, a teen’s feeling of alienation, drug abuse, love, family and friendships where you least expect it.