Author: Julie Hammerle
Similar books: Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
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Summary(provided by publisher): Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.
She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.
Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot, equally geeky drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts reporting singers who break conduct rules, music camp turns survival of the fittest, and people are getting kicked out. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her first real chance at something more—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
My opinion: What I liked about this one: Kiki is passionate. She has strong interests and doesn't let her opinions be swayed by others. She finds her own strength, not in other people but in spite of them. Her relationships with Jack and her former best friend don't end up fixed. They find a sort of stalemate, a potential for things to get better in the future. And while Kiki does end up stronger, her life isn't perfect. She's an anxious weirdo with only a vague plan for her future. She has simply accepted those imperfect parts of herself.
What I didn't like: the cliches. Kiki is a cliche, a nerdy girl, mildly overweight, introverted, with a tv obsession and a semi-secret musical talent. Her parents are cliches, pushing their children to choose "practical" majors instead of the arts (though honestly, what's so practical about studying Latin?), setting ultimatums, overly concerned with what others will think. Even the other campers fit into an expectation for a performing arts program: at least one who is elitist and almost all cut-throat. It can work to embrace cliches if characterization is strong enough, especially if there is a touch of self-effacing humor. That's not the case here. Most of the characters were not developed beyond a basic profile. A read for an afternoon or two but nothing that will blow you away and ultimately forgettable.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.