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- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: 5/1/2012
- Pages: 320
- Source: eARC from NetGalley/Abrams for review
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.
I don't really know what to say about this book. I honestly didn't enjoy it much. I really wanted to. It sounded really good. I wanted to fall in love with Chloe as the synopsis suggests, but really I didn't like her at all. By the end I didn't dislike her as much, but I still just couldn't relate to her or think that she would be a person I would actually really like. This book does touch on serious issues, which I think it excellent, but the characters themselves really just didn't do anything for me except for turn me off on wanting to continue. I came pretty close to putting this book down, but I didn't, and it did get better...a little.
Chloe, oh yes, Queen Chloe. That is not an understatement. At least not in her little world. She is self centered, talkative, funny, (some might say a bit annoying) and a bit of a brat. She acts like the world revolves around her. Then when her BFF's (and unrealistically the whole entire school) turn against her, she is all, "Oh, I can make it all better by trying to make people laugh. Everyone likes me. Laughs cure everything" (And her fetish with vintage shoes.) It get's a bit annoying. Then she always gets her own way. It's kind of sickening. You can't really feel bad for her. She finally does get a little better by the end of the book which I would have never known if I had in fact given up on the book.
Her ex- BFF Brie is a freaking nut case. Like, not even in a good way. She is a psycho drama queen. Like really over the top. Posting fake stuff on the internet, and spreading really, really, bad rumors that could potentially affect others in a very bad way too. The reason why she is mad at Chloe is a bit understandable considering Chloe is very self centered, but it's like way blown out of proportion and I seriously couldn't see people acting that way. Even with what other things she has going on. Then Clementine who is the GM of the radio station, she really got under my skin too. Maybe it's just me, but I don't remember so many people in school being so freaking moody or rude. And never if someone was mad at anyone else did the WHOLE school shun them or talk about them.
Overall I thought this whole book was a bit much. Too dramatic, too unbelievable, too stereotypical. I did like Duncan, but he was not enough to really save this book for me. He was one of the only characters who was believable. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. I need to at least enjoy reading the characters to be able to like a book. My little mind needs characters to help me through. It can be a great story, but characters are big to be. I don't like to try to force myself through a book because the characters are making me want to bang my head on the wall or jump into the book and just smack them or something. I know that some annoying or "bad" characters are needed, but I need to like the MC or the characters who are supposed to be the ones you look up to or want to help or whatever. Okay, not even like, just not want to throw them off of a 10 story building.
The story really was pretty good. I like how it touched on addiction, disease, divorce, teen pregnancy, and other hard subjects. I just think that the characters should have enhanced the story, but it really felt as if they dragged it down. Since the book was really about the characters, we actually don't get a lot of the great stuff that is going on in the story. In the end it was not a super happy ending, but things got better. People are healing, maybe things will work, maybe they won't, but Chloe has great shoes and laughs, so her universe is okay. One character that I really enjoyed was Chloe's Gram. I think she was a big part in why I kept reading. Now that I think about it, some of the adults behavior was almost just as bad as the kids, if not worse in some cases. If you like contemporaries with a lot of drama this is one for you. I didn't personally enjoy this book, but I do know other people who really liked it. 2.5 out of 5 stars