AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly

Posted 31 October, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 10 Comments

YA Contemporary
304 pages
Available now (Oct. 2011)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Review copy purchased
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. . . 
Positive: Jasmine. She’s a great character, filled with strength and determination tempered by some very real fears and vulnerability. After playing the role of the perfect daughter and student her entire life, she finally tells her dad that she’s putting off college to pursue her dream. Dad’s not so supportive and kicks her to the curb. Despite this huge set-back, she forges ahead and finds ways over the obstacles in her path.
Positive: The music. You can tell this is written by someone who not only knows how to play a guitar but who also absolutely loves music. That passion oozes from the pages, infusing every word.

Positive: This story made me cry! “And that’s a good thing?” you ask. Most definitely. I don’t cry very often (okay, there’s that one commercial with the dad who writes emails to his baby daughter but it’s rare that I tear up) and, when a book touches me enough to start the waterworks, it’s definitely a good thing. I really got attached to Jasmine!

Wish: A bit more depth to the secondary characters. While important to the overall plot, they felt a bit flat to me. For example, I really wanted to get to know Jasmine’s bandmates, especially Bryn. I learned just enough to be intrigued but not enough to satisfy.
Overall: Resonating with the passion and pain of forging your own path, Amplified strikes just the right note.

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10 Responses to “AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly”

  1. I adored this book and I have you to thank for it Mary! I saw it on one of your Waiting on Weds posts and immediately added it to my list. I just adored it, and my heart was in my throat when Jasmine was up on stage that first time. I actually think I had to get up and walk away (as though that was going to prevent what happened from happening) and I just loved her and Sean.

  2. You totally got me pumped up for this book. This is the first review of it that I read and you bumped it all the way to the top of my To Buy List.

    😀
    I fee you about wishing more depth to the secondary characters but it sounds like the main was good enough.

  3. Second review I’ve read for this one. The first one wasn’t that good and this one talks about the good things. But I really want to read this book.

    – Mary | Anxirium

  4. This sounds so good. Thankfully, I ordered it the other day! I really hope it comes soon. Jasmine sounds like an amazing character. I love when music is incorporated in a book!

  5. @BubbleGumBooks–I so hope you enjoy it.

    @Jenny–Oh, yayayayay! I’m so happy you loved it. Tara’s such an amazing writer who can really put you in the character’s head (oh, I wish I could have helped Jasmine with her stage fright!).

    @Ashley–Harmonic Feedback was so fab, wasn’t it?

    @Alex–Luckily, Jasmine can carry this book (in my opinion, anyway), though I would have loved more on some of the secondaries.

    @Krazzyme–When the author really knows her subject, like Tara Kelly knows music, it comes shining through!

    @Mfay2–It’s definitely worth a read and I hope you love it!

    @Katie–I love when music’s in a book, too. It adds such dimension.

  6. Oh I hope my copy arrives soon! I want to read it before the signing on Sunday! I’m so glad it really was amazing and I’m just pumped to read it myself!