“After living in twelve places in eight years with her drifting mother, fourteen-year-old Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Fearful of putting down roots anywhere, but armed with her song journal, she moves to her own sound track through a world that bounces her between the school drama crowd, a mysterious loner, and an unlikely boy who will become her first love. But it’s the troubling truth she uncovers about her father that forces Calle to face the toughest choice of her young life.”
I picked this book up on a whim to be honest. I never had heard of it but I like music themed books and I wanted to sign up for an ARC tour to see what they were all about. I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would. I really thought it was a well written books for teens (and YA loving adults!) that seemed very real–it didn’t seem like the cliched high school experience that never actually really happens in real life. The romantic relationship wasn’t that crazed, “OMG I saw him and I loved him and three days later we were in love forever” kind of relationship.
I loved Calle. I loved her song journal and I just thought she was refreshingly original. I just felt for her throughout the story–the moving around, the boy troubles, the daddy issues, etc. The girl didn’t have an easy life. I just wanted to see things get better for her and I was so angry with her mom for keeping her into the dark about everything with her dad. Give the girl some credit and tell her the truth! I actually couldn’t stand her mom. I understand she was being protective but lying is never the right way. I couldn’t stand how she kept uprooting her Calle all the time. I was happy Calle started to stand her ground in the end.
I loved the soundtrack that went along with this book! At the beginning of each chapter there was a song accompanied by a memory. I loved this idea! I felt like kindred spirits with Calle because I very much have my own song journal in my head where I associate very vivid memories with songs.
Let’s just talk about what a BANG of an ending it was. That’s all I’ll say. I still have mixed feelings about it.
My final thought: This is a really good (clean) YA novel with a likable main character that is a free-spirited, smart girl! The premise isn’t too different and the story, at first glance seems to be nothing special, but while reading it you will find it to be unique and special as it explores some real gritty issues in life–absent fathers, dysfunctional families, depression, etc. If you are into contemporary YA and are a music lover, this might be a good fit for you!