Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome Caller, I'm Confused

Published: May 1st, 2012
Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe
By: Shelley Coriell
Amulet Books
ISBN-13: 9781419701917

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.


   Chloe Camden has a big personality and loves vintage shoes.  She has what may seem like a perfect life from the outside - at least she always thought it was.  Until her Grams and her Mom started an all out war over her Grams' mental lapses.   Until her best friends started ignoring her, spreading rumors about her and being nasty to her in public.  Also, her junior idependent study project was nixed by the new counselor, so she has to work at the school's dilapidated radio station instead.  Chloe has a hard time becoming part of the station until she starts hosting a call-in radio show.  Then she becomes popular again, by learning to listen to the problems of other people for a change.  But can Chloe find a way to help Duncan, the boy who is stealing her heart, when his life is becoming a train wreck?  Also, can she find a way to get her Mom and Grams to compromise and finally listen to each other?  This book wasn't fantastic, it wasn't horrible - it was just OK.  That disappointed me a lot.  I wanted to fall in love with it and certain parts of it let me accomplish that.  Other parts of the book were just so far removed from emotional connection it isn't funny.  The family and friend issues interested me and I liked Chloe from the start, even if she WAS self-centered.  She wasn't that way on purpose, but it did get annoying at times.  Yet, I loved the comic relief parts of the book just as much as the dramatic parts.  They just didn't mesh together that well.  This book couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a drama book a la Sarah Dessen or a comic book a la Jaclyn Moriarty.  My favorite part of the whole book was Chloe's Grams, who is just KICK-ASS.  I also loved the radio station misfits, who each have adorably quirky personalities that you can't help but love as a reader.  But the whole situation with Duncan's family felt a little too after-school specialy in the way it was handled, same with the situation of her ex-BFFs.  Duncan's romance with Chloe also left a lot to be desired.  Overall, I'm not sorry I read it but it was pretty mediocre and that makes me sad.

VERDICT:  2.75/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book was published May 1st, 2012.*

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