Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Review] Amplified by Tara Kelly

Title: Amplified {goodreads}
Authors: Tara Kelly
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 25/10/11
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
RRP: US$16.95
Source: Bought
Age: 15+ Sexual references and alcohol.
Pages: 290

My Rating:

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.
My thoughts: 

One word: Badass!

Tara Kelly strikes again! I loved this as much as I loved 'Harmonic Feedback', just in different ways. We've heard the story before: Teen gets kicked out of home because they're a disappointment to their parent/s. Teen goes off to fulfill their dream, whatever that may be. What really appealed to me though, was the musical aspects and the band and what the band brings to Jasmine, the protagonist.

'Amplified' is super atmospheric; Kelly really describes music perfectly. When I first started reading books with music in them, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to 'hear the music', but so far I haven't had such a problem. It would be really cool if some of C-Side's tracks got recorded somehow, but that's probably wishful thinking. There are a few terms that, should you not be so musically inclined, you might need to look up. A little research on industrial rock also wouldn't hurt. I'll admit I'd never actually heard of the sub-genre before, but that's exactly what I love about reading. New stuff.

The band members of C-Side are eccentric and they each have their own distinct personalities that just magically drew me to them. I adored Felix's wicked fashion sense, Bryn's biting wit, Sean's quiet allure and Veta's spunk and sense of pride. I found myself chuckling and laughing way too much. They just have way too much fun together and their dialogue and actions with each other are so natural that I was able to believe they were real people.

What I most loved about AMPLIFIED, however, is the journey that Jasmine takes. She goes through so much development and has to endure quite a few obstacles in order to actually get where she does at the end. She suffers from intense stage fright, which is a big deal when she's going to be filling in for one of the hottest lead guitarists in the local industrial rock scene. What shines through with her is her innate ability to rock out and make things work, make them different and innovative. Like I said before, I could actually HEAR what was playing.

There is a romance, and one that I enjoyed a lot. The guy and Jasmine just get off to a really bad start, and first impressions make quite the impression. But over time they just start warming to each other and before we all know it, they're friends and leaning into something more. They had great chemistry; they're safely one of my top 5 fave couples for this year. Realistic - no insta-love going on ANYWHERE in here.

AMPLIFIED is fired-up and passionate, and is sure to catch interest of musically inclined readers. Kelly's sophomore release plays a familiar tune to her debut, but is a much lighter read - you might even chuckle a couple times. Jasmine is a great heroine whose endurance and strength of will persist time and time again.


""Are you waiting for the bathroom? 'Cause it looks open."
"I need to talk to Sean. I'm just waiting for a good time . . ."
Bryn walks past me and slammed his fist into Sean's door. "Hey!" The music inside cut off.
Sean answered, crinkling his brow at Bryn. He was already dressed for work--blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, cargo pants, and boots. "What?"
"Jasmine said she's waiting for a good time. Does now work for you?" Bryn slapped Sean in the chest and sauntered off, chuckling his way down the stairs.
Sean's eyes widened at me, his lips parting. This was not the opening I had in mind. (pp. 118-119)


* cheapest Australian e-store price


Fishpond * | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile


All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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