Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Amplified by Tare Kelly

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

This was also not really what I was expecting. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, though. There was just more to the story than I was thinking there would be.
It's about Jasmine Kiss, who's just been kicked out by her father because she refuses to go to college before pursuing music. So she moves to Santa Cruz, where her car breaks down, and she joins a band who want to perform, only she has stage fright. And she moves in with the majority of the band, which are all male.
Jasmine was alright. She isn't the brightest, and she really needs to grow up some more. She does some lying and some other things that aren't the smartest, but she does some growing up, and she doesn't give in, even if it's tempting. And she wasn't immature, or stupid, but she needed more experience. She wasn't ready to be out on her own yet, and by the end, I still didn't really feel that she was ready. Also, she says things without thinking about them, a lot.
I did like the band. Or, most of the band. Felix is big and girly but still straight. Veta, the singer, is gay and kind of psychic and pretty awesome. Bryn is quite a jerk, but he warms up to Jasmine some by the end of the book. Sean can be mean and still fun, and I liked him with Jasmine. They fool around some, which was nice, and even though the ending left things open for them, it still promised things were going to happen, and for some reason, I still liked it.
Also, I liked Veta and Sean's family. Their sister was cute, and their mom was sweet. I feel like the fact that Jasmine didn't have a great family life but that she has friend with good ones could have been expanded upon, though.
Their competition, were jerks. Teddy seemed like he could have been alright, while Amy was a total biotch. I did not like her, at all, didn't see what Sean did, and would have enjoyed it if Jasmine and her got into a fight. It should have happened. Dave was also a jerk. And Luna's Temptation seemed alright. Nile was a jerk, and Zia was really odd, but in a good way.
I didn't particularly like her dad. He was a bit of a jerk, and I don't feel that things were completely solved between them by the end. They just don't communicate very well, and I don't see a lot of things getting better for them, but it is on the path to getting better, so who knows. He did push her to do things on her own, though, which was good.
Her best friend, Jason, was adorable. We only saw him a couple of times, which was disappointing, because I really liked him and it would have been nice if we got to actually see him interact with her instead of only over the phone. And to meet his boyfriend.
Oh, if you didn't notice, this book was very friendly to gay people. (As there are two, one boy and one girl. Plus a girly boy that's still straight.) And it's pointed out casually, like, that's cool, whatever. I thought this was awesome.
And, as I mentioned above, there was more to the story than I'd expected. She does something stupid pretty early in the book and then it came back to her around halfway through, and after that, she really did have to prove her worth to the band. This, while I'm unsure if it was a good thing, because it was terrible how bad she messed up (cringe-worthy, that's how bad it was), it did help her grow up some. She worked harder after that to stay.
So, while Jasmine made me cringe with some of the things she did, and while it ended kind of openly, I still really enjoyed the book.
Oh, one thing that really bothered me. Jasmine is kind of going poor, as she only has so much money saved up and spends most of it on where she's staying, and then has to pay for her car, which is a lot. And her dad refuses to pay for anything (which is jerky, but understandable). So how does she have a cell phone throughout the whole book? There's never any mention of her paying for it herself, and I don't see why her dad would be paying for it for her. It's never mentioned how it's paid for, and this bothered me, because she has it from the day she leaves her dads place to the end of the book. So she would have been paying for it on her own before she abruptly moved out or her dad was paying it while she lived somewhere else, but wouldn't pay for anything else? I don't understand.

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