DJ Rising by Love Maia
"The first thing I hear is the music.
The first thing I've always heard is music."
When you're sixteen years old, and your life has turned from hopeful into horror-show, you hang onto what you can: onto what's still good, and true, and right. For Marley, that's music.
After his father died, his mother drowned in grief. She began self-medicating with alcohol, then heroin. Now there's just a junkie where the mom who loved him used to be. Marley can't do anything to save her, and watches helplessly as one after another loser, user boyfriends takes over their apartment.
Marley's got a scholarship to a good private school, but he's hanging on by the skin of his teeth. He's working multiple jobs to keep food on the table; the rent paid: but only if Marley can keep his mom or her current boyfriend/dealer from stealing what he earns. It's the music that keeps him sane.
And then one day, thanks to some amazing luck and an even better fake I.D. Marley lands the dream job: D.J. at a real New York music club. There's nothing he wants more in life: to follow in his dad's footsteps as a D.J.; to go pro. There's even a competition that, if he wins it (and Marley knows he could be good enough to do it) could change his life forever.
But with everything Marley's got going on in his life: the secrets, his mom's addiction, the demands of work and school, and even Marley's own (sometimes) none-too-smart choices, could real life drag him down? Could everything else in his life crush his dreams when they're just getting a chance to unfold?
The club scene in DJ Rising is hot, and Marley's life is a roller-coaster; but it's the guy himself, someone you'll really want to root for who will keep you turning the pages of this book.