Mundie Moms

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: Amplified by Tara Kelly

Published by: Henry Holt & Co.
Released on: October 25th, 2011
Source: book from publisher to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . 

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified -quoted from Goodreads

Music, romance and the quest for independence are just a few of the things that made Amplified a surprisingly engaging read for me. Tara did a lot of fabulous things with her story that kept me hooked, and had me wanting to know what would happen next. I enjoyed the different vibe with this story, as it's not one I've personally read a lot of in YA books, and that's the musical element. Tara did an incredible job at making me feel apart of the musical world that makes up this story. From the band's relationships, to the music scene, the music itself and the instruments. Plus I love a short girl who can pack  a surprisingly powerful punch, which Jasmine does via her awesome guitar playing.

One of the other things I admired about what Tara does in this book, is she allows her character Jasmine to grow, make realistic, and relatable mistakes. She gives her real life situations and very real consequences. I totally respect an author who does that. Though I didn't experience the same things Jasmine did, I still felt I connected with her on a few levels, because I related to the wanting to do things on my own, learning from stupid choices, and learning to pick yourself up and keep going. I have to say I started off admiring Jasmine for wanting to do it on her own, which readers come to understand why in the book, was a little disappointed in her for some of the pour choices she makes and went back to admiring her for owning up to things and trying to make things right again, as well as proving her worth, so to speak.

This strong, stubborn girl doesn't get off the hook so easy, and her biggest challenge isn't with earning her place in the band, it's her romantic counter part, Sean. Oh wow Sean. I seriously loved getting to read about him. This broken hearted, tough guy sure calls it like he sees it, and he definitely sees more than he lefts on, especially with Jasmine. I loved the way these two grew closer together. There are times I laughed out loud from the things they say to each other the attitudes they have with one another, and then there's times I want to sigh over a few of their moments together. Huge kudos to Tara for creating a refreshing, realistic romance in this story. I seriously wanted to yell "FINALLY" while reading this. The way in which Tara executed this part of her story was brilliant! While there was an attraction between the two, and plenty of down right fabulous snark, there wasn't a love at first site, which was wonderful! This relationship was one that made sense, was a little sigh worthy at times and left me feeling hopeful for the future of Jasmine and Sean.

Tara's writing is seriously what kept me reading this book. Her words flowed beautifully, her story came to life for me, and everything about the music world in Amplified was intriguing to me. I liked the conflict, and uncertainty that takes place through out the book, especially given the fact this story takes place right after Jasmine's high school graduation. That phase of life is a bit uncertain, it's a little scary, and it's definitely a whole new world after high school. I personally felt that Tara explored those thoughts and feelings well with what Jasmine is going through. This is a book I surprisingly enjoyed, especially given the fact that I usually enjoy more paranormal/fantasy books. Slowly but surely I've been branching out and reading more coming of age/contemporary books, and I'm surprised with how much I'm enjoying them now.

 I would like to mention that there is some language, a few uses of the f-word, mentions of sex, and some underage drinking in this book. Given the music scene and all that goes on in this book, I will say that Tara did a great job handling all that, and these are things I had expected to read about in this book.

Mundane Monday #140

He bent to put his cheek against hers. His breath against her ear made her shudder with each deliberately spoken word. "I have wanted to do this," he said, "every moment of every hour of every day that I have been with you since the day I met you. But you know that. You must know. Don't you?"

She looked up at him, lips parted in bewilderment. "Know what?" She said, and Will, with a sigh of something like defeat, kissed her.

- Clockwork Prince, page 291