Review: Amplified by Tara Kelly

Amplified (Amplified, #1)Amplified by Tara Kelly

Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Page Count: 293 pages
Format: Hardback
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Borrowed From Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy reading contemporary stories, and I had no doubts that I would like reading Amplified. It's a great coming of age story, and even though it started off a little shaky for me, it soon turned around and I found myself really enjoying the story.

The protagonist, 17 year old Jasmine, has always done what her father told her. One day she decides to put off college for a year and pursue her dream of playing lead guitar in a band. Now she must find her own way in the world with no experience to fall back on, and no help from her angry father. Her new life begins with Jasmine bluffing her way into a trial gig with a local band, finding a place to live, getting a job, and making new friends.

Jasmine was very determined, stubborn to a fault, and very passionate about music. She was adorable and funny in some situations, and smart and resourceful when needed. I enjoyed that she really went all out for what she wanted, even though it sort of backfired and bit her in the butt. Despite numerous setbacks, Jasmine was able to learn from her mistakes.

Sean is the first person that Jasmine encounters after she leaves home, and they immediately butt heads. They really disliked each other without knowing anything about the other. Jasmine and Sean have a little bit of a love/hate thing going on. Sean is really messed up over his last relationship, so he is really not in a good place. He knows he is not ready to move forward with Jasmine. Jasmine knows Sean is in a bad way, and because she doesn't want her own heart broken, they agree to be friends. But the potential is there and just waiting for the right opportunity! I love that the author wrote their almost relationship so realistically. I feel as though they could have a great future together - someday.

I loved all the stuff with the band. The members were all vastly different, but somehow they made it work. There were times when the music talk was a little too technical and over my head. But I could still appreciate how much hard work goes into practicing and meshing as a band.

My one big complaint about this book was that I thought it was just a little too convenient that Jasmine's best friend, who always had her back, was on vacation in Hawaii for weeks on end. So he wasn't there to support Jasmine when she really needed him the most. This left Jasmine literally all alone and fighting for her future without anyone on her side.

(On a side note, as a mother to a 17 year old myself, I know that Jasmine's father could not have washed his hands of her as easily as that. There are laws, and at 17 her father IS still responsible for her, whether he wanted to be or not. I know this is a small detail and probably doesn't matter to some readers. But it's a big deal to me, so I had to put aside my thoughts about the wrongness of the situation and just enjoy the story for what it was.)

Amplified is a very optimistic story. It's about chasing your dreams and making them come true. Learning to grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your actions. At times it's heartbreaking, and other times so hopeful. Overall, I really did enjoy reading Amplified, and I can't wait to read the sequel, Encore, when it comes out.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Lovely book blog you've got here :) Nice review as well although the book doesn't really sound like my kinda genre. If you have time could you please pop round to my YA book blog and comment or something so I know I didn't write this comment in vain (dramatic fainting action).
    Ruby -


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