December 18, 2012

Latest Read: Harmonic Feedback

Here are the basics ...
Book: Harmonic Feedback
Author: Tara Kelly
Site: http://thetaratracks.com/
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary

Summary: Sixteen-year-old, music and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn't have friends. She has, as she's often reminded, issues. Drea's mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger's." Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges Drea and  her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like Drea. It's obvious that Drea can't hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she's found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them? (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The good: I started this book right before going to bed and told myself, I'll just read for 30 mins and then I'll go to sleep since it was already a little late. Then those 30 minutes passed and I thought, okay another 30. Then another 30. Then suddenly it was midnight and I decided, I'm not sleeping until I finish. Maybe it was the timing but this is exactly what I needed to read. I just fell in love with Drea and her story right from page one. She's sixteen, music-obsessed (a trait I love in a main character!), creative (she makes clothes and instrument parts) and she's also been diagnosed with "a touch of Asperger's" since she was a child. That gave the book a fresh perspective. She's so honest! But not in a mean or over-the-top way. There was a guilelessness to the way she asked questions. Like why do people try to force her to conform to society's standards? Why is having a passion considered a symptom of her disease? What's the point of small talk with someone you don't care about? Diagnosis or not, I think anyone can relate to her feeling of wanting to be loved and accepted for who she is. Even though it's polite to be tactful and filter your words - sometimes it would be nice to say exactly what I wanted all the time. I felt like I got to live vicariously through Drea as I read about her interactions with the people in her life.

And that's what the book was about ultimately. Not only being comfortable with who she is, but comfortable with the people who care for her. There's her relationship with her mom which I loved. Her mom could've so easily been a cliche. Overprotective or self-absorbed. But she actually talks to Drea and vice-versa. She confides in her mother, who listens to her and gives her great advice. Then there's Naomi, her first real friend. She's hard to like, in fact half the time I couldn't help but think she was a terrible friend. But underneath all the bluster, you knew she was a scared, insecure girl who did love Drea. I could see why Drea, who had wanted to be accepted all her life, couldn't turn her back on Naomi. And course, Justin. Swoon! He wasn't perfect and he's got a history of his own to deal with but I enjoyed his moments with Drea so much. The slow way they open up to each other and all their conversations. There was instant-attraction but they both kind of fight it and we get to watch the relationship progress. It was so heartwarming to see Drea give into these feelings in that awkward but sweet way of hers.

(No) reservations: I personally loved the writing style and pacing of the book so.. no complaints.

Do I recommend?: If my gushing hasn't convinced you yet.. yes, I do recommend it! It's got all the elements I love - a relatable protagonist, music, cute guy and a great story.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. I love so many elements of this book - the music, the relationships, the main character (and what she sounds like) - and I definitely want to check it out!

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    1. Yes! Add to your TBR list! I think you will enjoy this one :)

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  2. I'm pretty sure Tara had a letter in the Dear Teen Me anthology and I added this to my list because of it.

    So glad you gave it such a positive review. I really need to get that library card...

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    1. Yes you do! I really didn't expect to love this book as much as I did.

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