24 April 2012

Review: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Title: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
Published: 1st May 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: eARC thanks to NetGalley and publisher

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home. - From Goodreads

The cover of this book drew me in immediately. As I have said before I loved Pump Up the Volume when I was younger and always thought I might be quite good at hosting a radio talk show as I never stop talking!! Well the cover of this book made me think that it might relight my interest in broadcast radio (even if it did not seem that this was an underground radio show!).

After her friends turn their back on her, for something Chloe does not even know she has done, Chloe decides to throw herself into her independent study programme. Unfortunately the school counsellor does not like her topic of choice and instead signs her up to do promotions for the school's failing radio station. After some rocky starts Chloe finds her place in the group of "outsiders".

Chloe is a flake. She is one of those people that stabs you in the back, but without any idea that that's what she is doing, in fact she probably thinks she is helping. I did find her a little annoying and thought that her life would be so much easier if she was a little more humble. Saying this I do remember taking my friends for granted too at this age. I'm not saying that I disliked the character of Chloe, she was so upbeat it is hard not to like her and she also has a passion for vintage shoes, this scores major points in my book. All in all i did quite like Chloe, she made a good, but flawed, protagonist.

This story starts to play out exactly as you would expect from the cover, but as you delve a little deeper some of the threads running through the story start to get a little more gritty. We meet characters who are pregnant teens, children trying to deal with parental divorce and even someone trying to deal with a parent who is hooked on Meth. I thought these story lines added to the overall feel of the book, however they were glossed over slightly and I wanted them to be a little more gritty and real. I think if you are going to add in plot points like these you really have to commit to them.

I really liked this book. I thought the story could have been worked on a little more and felt it skimmed over some parts where I wanted more detail. I wanted to know more about the periods where Chloe felt alone after her friends, and most of the school, shunned her. To me she never really felt lonely or alone. All in all, this was a very entertaining and enjoyable read.

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