Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Review: Amplified

When I was in junior high and high school, I used to really want to play in a band. I begged my parents for a bass guitar and eventually got one for a birthday present. After learning a couple of songs from my favorite bands, and having one band practice in a friend's garage, I gave up and haven't touched my bass since.

Amplified by Tara Kelly is about a girl, Jasmine Kiss, who is much more ambitious than I once was. Jasmine is seventeen and freshly graduated when she is kicked out of her cardiologist father's house for deciding to pass on college and pursue her dreams of being in a band. She heads off to Santa Cruz, guitar in hand, in search of a band, a job, and a new place to call home. After obsessively flipping through classified ads, Jasmine finds a perfect match: not only is a band looking for a guitarist for an industrial rock group, they are also looking for a roommate. The only problem: they don't want a girl in the band, and Jasmine has intense stage fright. She auditions anyways, and Veta, the lead singer, loves her, but Jasmine needs to convince the rest of the band - especially Veta's cute, moody brother Sean, that she is the perfect fit for C-Side.

This book was a quick read and quite enjoyable. I did think that the pacing was a little off in the beginning and Kelly made things a little too convenient for Jasmine, but I loved the characters. The tension built up between Sean and Jasmine was natural and exciting, and the band dynamic was well thought out and displayed nicely - I really got a sense of who each character was and what their 'role' was in the band. It was a good book for me to live vicariously though, which was fun, and Jasmine's passion for guitar was palpable on the page.

Rating: 4 / 5

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