Release Date ~ May 1, 2012
Amulet Books ~ ABRAMS
ARC received from Manda Group
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.
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe is very clearly a fun and eccentric read, but I had no idea the amount of depth it would end up showing, or just how remarkably touching it would be by the end of the story.
But what I found truly remarkable about it was it's relentless optimism and endearing plot- make no mistake, this story is about so much more than Chloe and her own life.
- An extraordinary narrator:
Chloe's character and enthusiasm is the most noteworthy aspect of the book; it stands apart from typical YA contemporaries, and stands apart from most other heroines. Her refusal to continually dwell on the hardships she endures is remarkable, and I found it refreshing to read about a character who wasn't overly angsty but instead the complete opposite. Her optimism shines through, and Shelley's ability to feature such a character so well should be applauded. And I think it's fantastic that Chloe has such a close relationship with her family.
- A love interest who steals the show:
Oh, Duncan, Duncan, Duncan... where do I even begin with you? Duncan was easily my favourite character and I was surprised by how easily his character and story took over the plot. He is what stood out most to me, and his life i swhat stayed with me long after I finished reading this book. His endurance and care for others is too sweet! Particularly in light of such dismal circumstances.
- But it's a story delivered with uncommon optimism:
Here's what makes the story work so well; if it was just a story dealing with a large number of issues such as addiction, divorce, gossip, and friendships (all of which come up in the plot) it would be rather unremarkable and fit in well with the large number of other unfortuante stories of real life problems. But it's Chloe's narration that changes it, and brightens the mood completely. She's this brand new ray of sunshine in so many lives, especially Duncan's that gives us a different story completely. There's hope, that shines from the book itself.
I wasn't impressed with Brie as a character whatsoever- I didn't feel that the issue was completely resolved, but that it had been hastily tied together without really dealing with any of the consequences of her actions. And several times I just found her behaviour to be inexcuseable, but it was simply glossed over and I think it could have been handled better.