Author: Shelley Coriell
Series: Stand Alone
Genres: Realistic, Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Amulet Books
Released: 1 May 2012
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com 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 Review: I have never met a protagonist quite like Chloe before. Part of me loves her dearly, like a sister; but another part of me totally understands why her friends ditched her in the first place. Clementine (a character in the novel) uses the phrase “roller skating through life” and I definitely think that this perfectly describes Chloe. There is kind of a disconnect between her reality and actual reality in this novel that makes it a little hard to sympathize with her. She is so incredibly over dramatic about everything which is typical to her age, but not typical to the Young Adult genre.
Chloe however, in my opinion, didn’t hold a candle to the supporting characters in this novel, the staff at 88.8 and Duncan. Oh, swoony Duncan with his pent up emotions and brooding stares. The boy who likes to fix everything and works two jobs, yep that’s Duncan. Definitely an excellent character to juxtapose Chloe’s over dramatic flair.
I admit that I LOVED reading such an honest voice, although maybe Chloe doesn’t connect really well with reality, I felt like she knew that as a character, and that the author knows that as well. Chloe’s voice is quite clear: here I am, are you ready world? She is so resonating on the page. High school is hard, and Chloe understands that, but she also gets a rude wake up call in her friends trying to talk her off of her singular happy cloud. In all honesty, because of the quirky characters, the subject matter, and the dialogue, this felt like a much lighter version of Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen to me. Both novels are just similar enough to each other that I definitely felt the connection there, whether it was meant to be or not.
I’ve missed the happy go lucky heroine, or maybe I just don’t come across them that often, that in the end, although Chloe isn’t really in touch with any sort of actual reality and is a massive drama queen, she definitely won me over.