Summary: David Chang is a sixteen year-old who has a passion for playing guitar. His band’s attempt at entering the Montreal Rocks Contest reinforces that he still has a lot to learn, but he is committed to doing so, even when his father’s gambling debts mean his parents can’t pay for his guitar lessons anymore. He starts working for his guitar instructor to earn free guitar lessons, but being so strapped for cash at home gets to him and he makes a couple of stupid mistakes. David has also been keeping a close eye on his father with his gambling problem, and when he sees his dad with an attractive, younger woman he assumes the worst. The truth is even more surprising than he can imagine.
Number of Pages: 168
Age Range: 13-14
Review: Guitar Hero by Day’s Lee is about one teen learning there is more to his father than he thinks there is. I liked that they found some common ground. Though David, the main character, is sixteen, he seems younger at times with his reactions to family situations and his own choices.
It’s a fun, quick-paced read for younger teen readers with some wonderful characters. My personal favourite was David’s grandmother, Nai-nai. She obviously cares for her family and helps out in whatever ways she can. Kim, David’s little sister, is also not to be missed with her observant ways that always seem to get her brother where it hurts.
Guitar Hero is a great first novel for Lee, and I look forward to reading what she creates in the future.
“Then he gets serious. ‘Your grandfather didn’t want me to spend my life in a hand laundry, like he did,’ he says. ‘He had a hard life and wanted more for me.’ He pauses. ‘And it’s something I want for you. It’s what every father wants for their children.'” – David’s father from Guitar Hero by Day’s Lee, page 161