22 May 2012

YA Book Review: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Release Date: 1 May 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...
Chloe Camden can bring a smile to your face at the worst of times, and while she might talk a bit too much, you've got to give her credit for finding humor in the worst of situations.  But when her fun-loving personality leads her to unknowingly betray a friend, she finds herself friendless--on top of having to search for a new JISP (Junior Independent Study Project).

Welcome, Caller is a fun, light-hearted novel about growing up and learning some hard lessons. The novel touches on a lot of important issues, including divorce, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, bullying, and other important issues, and I liked how they were integrated into the story and presented in a realistic way--not preachy or over the top.  The story itself is a bit over the top from the very beginning, but it's all presented in a fairly light-hearted manner that makes the book a quick and fairly enjoyable read.

Ms. Coriell crafted quite the cast of characters in this novel and each one of them has unique quirks and personalities that make them stand out from each other.  However, I have to admit that I didn't feel a really deep connection with any of them. I enjoyed Chloe's quirky love of vintage shoes and her fairly straightforward, no-nonsense personality. I enjoyed watching her make Duncan open up just a little and the tension between the two of them. I liked the family dynamics--both Chloe's real family and what becomes her radio family. But I didn't fall absolutely, head-over-heels in love with any of them.

For fans of light-hearted contemporary reads, I think this book will provide a few hours of pleasant escape--a story full of love, humor, and a happy ending. If you're hoping for a deeper exploration of growing up and friendship's ups and downs, you probably won't find it here.

9 comments:

Stephanie O'Neil said...

I love contemporary, but I really prefer books where the characters are easy to connect with.  Still, I'm intrigued by this one.

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Glad you liked this one, Jessi!  I liked everything about it that you mentioned.  It was the perfect light-mixed-with-serious read.  

Book Light Graveyard said...

I've wanted to read this one ever since I first saw the cover :) I'm glad you liked it! And since I'm definitely a fan of light contemporary, I think I'll probably like this one too.
Book Light Graveyard

AMY FOURNIER said...

I enjoy contemporary, but I had a hard time with this one. I didn't find the characters very likable and that makes it hard for me to enjoy a book. 

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Jessi said...

I had trouble connecting with the characters as well, Amy. I have to say that I was thankful it was a quick read...which I guess isn't saying much!

Jessi said...

I generally prefer those types of characters as well! This one is potentially redeemed by its quirkiness and the fact that it's a fairly quick read. :)

Jessi said...

It was kinda fun, wasn't it, Molli? I liked that it was a quick read and I can think of a lot of teens I would recommend it to. :)

Jessi said...

The cover is so neat, isn't it? Really makes you want to pick it up and give it a try. :)

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