Author: Shelley CoriellPublisher: Amulet BooksPublication Date: 1 May 2012Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
Returning to school after Winter break Chloe finds herself outcast by her friends. The subject of rumors, gossip and maliciousness, even her best friends turn against her. Not only does Chloe have to cope with the dramatic change in her social status but to top to all off she has to find a new Independent Study Project (ISP) or fail the course.
At first Chloe comes across as completely self absorbed and shallow. Although I have to mention that I adored her vintage shoe fetish, this alone sets her apart from your average teenager. She has a larger than life personality, easy to understand as she is the youngest child with 4 older brothers. As the story progresses insight into Chloe's attitude generates a degree of understanding. She has been spoilt although she is no where near a brat. She is used to getting attention and being adored by everyone. Disputes really upset her so she has developed a mechanism of deflecting tension by means of humor.
Sometimes Chloe's use of humor can be seen as insensitive. She is oblivious to the need for tact and diplomacy in certain situations, although her interest in making others feel better is genuine and this shines through the narrative. Such an admirable quality even if it doesn't translate well with Chloe's larger than life personality. The radio show Chloe undertakes as part of her ISP is the perfect platform for her. Her self depreciating humor can be misinterpreted as narcissism until you really get to know her.
High school cliques and prejudices are in full force within the plot. The superb use of the 'frenemy' added to dynamics of the story. There are incidents within the narrative that can be picked up on showing the level of jealousy and deceit with regards to one of Chloe's 'friends' inducing protective feelings for Chloe.
Chloe's journey of self discovery via what can be classed as a 'right of passage' was fabulous to follow. Lessons we can all learn - listening is an important skill [ : D ] Learning not to judge people by the way they look is something we should all aspire to.
Family problems, teen issues and a touch of romance are brought together with a quirky sense of humor providing a very individual and refreshing contemporary story.