Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
Robin’s perfect guy must be tall, dark, handsome, a good tipper, nice to kids, and have good taste in music. After all, Robin’s first love is her guitar and folk music. Then Carter walks into the diner where Robin works and he fits every single item with one exception, he’s deaf. Despite the fact that they don’t quite speak the same language, the closer Robin and Carter get to each other, the more the differences between them seem to fade away. I can’t decide what I think about this book. On the one hand, I really liked the main characters. Robin and Carter were genuine and their feelings felt real to me. On the other hand, some of the drama felt forced. I didn’t fully believe that after mostly overcoming the large communication obstacle that a small misunderstanding would have such a huge impact on them. Maybe, I just didn’t want that to be the case because I care about them. I suppose that is a hallmark of a good story so, on the whole, I’d recommend Song of Summer.
For the Record by Charlotte Huang
When Chelsea Ford steps in as the new lead singer of the band Melbourne, she has the summer tour to prove to her bandmates and the fans that she belongs, otherwise it’s back to her sleepy hometown in Michigan. Add to that the sudden attention from huge teen heartthrob, Lucas, and complicated feelings for Melbourne’s guitarist, Beckett, and Chelsea is in for an interesting summer. For the Record is a fun look at rock stardom and a young band. I liked how Chelsea’s character developed but some of the other characters felt one-sided. Also, the love triangle between Chelsea, Lucas, and Beckett felt a little forced. I can understand that Chelsea might get caught up in the fame of someone like Lucas but I found him incredibly annoying. I even skimmed a little bit of the story in the middle when I couldn’t take any more of him and re-engaged once he was out of the picture. However, by the end, I felt myself wanting the story to continue so that I could see more of Chelsea’s musical journey.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Annabel Greene is alone. She’s been ostracized by her former best friend and the rest of the school has followed. Her family has some major issues that no one seems to want to address. Then Annabel meets Owen Armstrong, when they are both relegated to the fringes of the school lunch area. Owen isn’t perfect either, he’s got an anger management problem. But Owen’s unfailing honesty helps Annabel admit that she’s been lying to everyone, including herself about how to deal with the realities of her life. Although Annabel is the protagonist, I found some of the other characters to be more interesting. Annabel’s sister, Whitney, who is struggling with an eating disorder, felt more real to me. Also, despite his anger management trouble, Owen was always the voice of reason. This book deals with some important issues well and others not so well. It was worth the time spent reading it but could have been better.