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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Rocket Queen by Julianna Morgan is a mesmerizing coming-of-age YA novel that follows sixteen-year-old Wren Evans as she deals with depression and seeks deeper levels of connection with herself. She forgets dates, often feeling moody and lonely. But her depression becomes stronger when she is kicked out of her old dance school. Music has been the sole solace for her. Now, self-pity and hatred sink in. She only connects through rock music and her relationship with Aidan, himself a troubled young man, might bring some light. Can she emerge from the place of darkness in her mind and discover healing, peace, and light?
Rocket Queen is so engrossing and filled with realism. The novel is gorgeous and follows a young girl’s coming-of-age while dealing with mental illness. The book explores what it really means to suffer from depression and the first-person narrative voice captures the emotions of the protagonist in a way that is vivid and intimate. I enjoyed the diary entries which translate the protagonist’s relationship with herself brilliantly. The writing is exceptional and instead of telling, the author shows readers strong emotions and the state of mind of the lead character. Julianna Morgan writes in gorgeous prose and allows her gift for character and insightful writing to dominate the story. This is a novel that fascinated and entertained me, and it got me thinking a lot about what depressed teenagers go through, surrounded by people who don’t understand them.