How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo is one of my favorite reads for 2011. It moved me emotionally and I simply could not put it down. I could say I loved it because the book is beautifully written. Or I could say that the book is a favorite because the dialogue is incredibly witty and funny. Yes, that is all true. But that is not why it affected me so deeply – this book is so powerful because the characters are so completely real. Okay, the book was powerful. The book was a favorite. But what does that mean? It means I stayed up until 2:00 am on a work night to finish it. It means that I cried my eyes out not just once but a three times! It means I got so pissed off at the main characters I almost threw my kindle – more than once. It means that I cannot wait to read this book again.The story is told from the point of view of two main characters: Eliza and Paul. Eliza’s personality is similar to a friend I knew and snippets of her life as written in this book were very similar to my past. This book is a contemporary romance, but it is also more than that. What many romances authors get wrong is that they write characters which are too perfect and perhaps that is part of the fantasy: the characters are extremely beautiful, the sex is over the top amazing, and the relationship proceeds without any road bumps – and oh, of course at least one of the main love interests is unbelievably wealthy. These themes definitely have their place in the romance genre, it is a great escape. But How to Kill is not a romantic escape. It is a romance that baptizes you by dunking your head in cold water – and keeping it under the water until you think you will explode. In a good way, I promise!How to Kill a Rock Star is not a fantasy romance novel. The characters are described to look like real people; the characters struggle financially and the real world intrudes on making their dreams come true. The most authentic for me in this story, was how the author wrote the romantic relationship. No matter what we fantasize about, the love of our life may not be the most handsome and he may not be the sweetest; sure as hell, he likely won’t be the richest. But even with these imperfections, the love and romance can still be a powerful all-encompassing love. Then there is the ugly side of love. When people are hurt and when they feel betrayed, they may do ugly mean things – to themselves, to each other, to their friends, to their careers; rationality is not always the most followed course during a messy period in a romantic relationship. Ms. DeBartolo does not shy away from writing how relationships devolve, how they break down and how they get ugly.How to Kill is also more than a love story about two young people, it is also a love story of the characters' romance with rock and roll,“It sounds silly, I know. But for me, the power of music rests in its ability to reach inside and touch the places where the deepest cuts lie. Like a benevolent god, a good song will never let you down. And sometimes, when you're trying to find your way, one of those gods actually shows up and gives you directions.”If you are looking for an emotional read that will stay with you for a long time, then I highly recommend this book. Below are some of my favorite quotes from this book:“For the record, if I were Superman, a pale, scrawny guy holding a guitar would be Kryptonite.”"I wanted to freeze the moment. Freeze it and jump inside of it and stay there until it melted into the warm, swishy liquid of happy memories.""I celebrated the scene as one of those rare instances when you actually catch sight of happiness in motion. Happiness made everything soft and shiny like Vaseline on a camera lens.""The thing is, we loved each other, and on some level we always will, but when you're twenty-three and you fall in love, you tend to think that love will supersede any problems .. no matter how much you love somebody, no matter how desperately you want a relationship to work, life can act as an oxidizer and corrode it to pieces.""'Come on. We had sex. You have to.' He chuckled. 'Eliza, if that were my only criteria, do you know how many girls would know my real name?'" “Come on. We had sex. You have to. “There's a big difference between being alone and being lonely. And I'm guessing that once you've discovered this distinction you can't go back to solitary confinement without serious emotional repercussions.”“Fate is just another word for people's choices coming to a head. Destiny, coincidence, whatever you name it. It inevitably lies in our hands.”" ‘All is fair in love and war, right?’ It was, by far, the dumbest cliche I had ever uttered. It was an insult to love and an inadmissible exoneration of war.""'Eliza, are you crying?' 'It's just that, well, sometimes Happiness hurts.' "