I tend to think of a book as a guided tour in which a character interprets everything for me. Between the pages, I’m in new, uncharted territory and I’m relying on the POV person to convey the setting, the plot, the action, and the characterization of the story.
The character’s voice is everything for me.
Sometimes that voice takes me on an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind trip.
The voice in SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR by Matthew Quick was so powerful, I didn’t want to leave the protagonist’s world.
I snagged an ARC of this one at TLA convention last April. Lucky me for me, an editor pointed it out. Check out the book’s opening lines, in which protagonist Amber Appleton makes her remarkable first appearance:
Lying down, shivering on the last seat of school bus 161, pinned by his teensy doggie gaze, which is completely 100% cute—I’m such a girl, I know—I say, “You won’t believe the bull I had to endure today.”
My legs are propped up against the window, toes pointing toward the roof so that the poodle skirt I made in Life Skills class settles around my midsection. Yeah, it’s the twenty-first century and I wear poodle skirts. I like dogs, I’m a freak. So what? And before anybody reading along gets too jazzed up thinking about my skirt flipped up around my waist, my lovely getaway sticks exposed, allow me to say there’s no teenage flesh to be seen here.
Amber is one heck of a tour guide, huh? Her voice hooked me right away. This character is so quirky, insightful, complicated and…warm. I was drawn to Amber in a way I can’t adequately express.
In short, reading this book was a singular experience for me. All because of one character’s voice.
I spent half the book laughing out loud and the other half with a big, fat lump in my throat. I RARELY cry actual tears while reading a book, but this one made me bawl like a baby. I’m not even kidding.
Amber Appleton’s voice moved me.
I wanna know, what voices move you?
Hungry for more? Try this recipe for Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It’s almost as warm and sweet as this book.