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A Little Wanting Song

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,683 ratings  ·  323 reviews
A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords. . . .

CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she's good at it. But she only sings when she's alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus's Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie's mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she's visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Ember (first published April 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 02, 2011 Flannery rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All YA luvvahs
Recommended to Flannery by: Nic, SCB TBR 2011 - Pick Two; Jess
“We were the only three people awake in a world half asleep and the air felt heavy with maybe.”

The Aussies hit it out of the park again. Seriously, I’m beginning to wonder if there is something in the water down under that allows them to produce amazing YA lit. (or maybe all of it is put through a strainer and only the best of the best is published in the US—either way, I haven’t read a bad Aussie YA book yet) And I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on Graffiti Moon.

Charlotte (Charlie) Duskin h
Emily May

"I've got stars in my blood, burning bright under my skin."

I really liked it, let me just say that first. The whole story was bittersweet and moving and captured that sense of wanting that the book was essentially all about.

We are told the tale of a summer in a small town from two points of views: Charlie, an outcast who longs for friendship and to be included in the world that seems to be happening around her, so close and yet just out of reach; and Rose, a girl who dreams of bigger things out
I'm kind of tired of repeating myself and say that these Aussie YA authors write well..... but anyway, THIS Aussie writes well.
This is the second book by Cath Crowley I've picked up, the first being Graffiti Moon, but A Little Wanting Song was actually published before with the original title Chasing Charlie Duskin.
While I loved Graffiti Moon I can safely say I loved this one even more. Because this book is MORE. More of everything. There is more drama, more angst, more reality, and especially
While I hate it when people make obnoxious claims like, “This is the next Hunger Games!!!!”, I must say that if you are one of us unfortunates looking desperately for something to fill the Melina Marchetta sized hole in your life, this book might help with that. For me, it wasn’t nearly as emotionally draining as Ms. M’s latest (for example, my guts are not sitting on the floor next to me right now in a sticky puddle), but all the same honesty and bittersweet grief is there in this book.

One of t
Sep 28, 2011 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Catie
Shelves: aus-nz, 2011, ala-ya-2011, ya
3.5 stars

A Little Wanting Song is a tender, at times poignant story of friendship, first love and yearning for more.

Did I like it? Yes. Did I like it as much as I thought I would? Not quite.

I love to read novels about girl friendships. It is too popular now to explore "mean girls" scenarios - back stabbing, cheating and cattiness. Although this story starts with one girl planning to take advantage of another, it soon becomes a tale of real friendship, a relationship that transforms and empowers
Jul 08, 2011 Arlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arlene by: TBR Reduction Challenge - #9 Nic
See, the water molecules are attracted to each other so much that they hold on for as long as they can. They grip to each other till they’re too heavy and then they break. It’s why water falls in tears.

Spending a quiet afternoon reading A Little Wanting Song is like watching the stars go harmonic. It’s really beautiful and I loved it! This book is sad, hopeful, funny, heartbreaking, happy all mixed in one from beginning to end. As you read this story, these myriad of emotions just keep crashing
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
“Her eyes always bothered me when we were kids. They still do. They make mine ache trying to see where they end.”

A LITTLE WANTING SONG features grief, but it's not 'punch you in the gut' kind of grief. There are family relationships with an underline of neglect that are explored, but again, it's not heavy handed. There's betrayal and wanting but it doesn't have your heart racing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that all these things are explored in the novel, but in a more quiet, subtle way. T
So I’m treading a bit carefully with this review. Woah… wait… calm down! Before you all yell at me and report me to the YA Powers That Be… I’m treading carefully with this review but it’s not because I didn’t like it.
I, of course, adored it.
I adored it because I have eyes and I can read and… if you look really carefully on the front page you will see that this book was written by Cath Crowley, author of Graffiti Moon and one of the few writers who can take teenage emotions and feelings, bottle
Favourite Quote: 'And then we're at that moment where you both go and get what you want or you both go back. The moment when you say, Stuff being scared; what's on the other side is better. That moment when you inch closer to each other little by little, till you skin starts and ends in the same place. Till your faces get so close your lips start and end in the same place, too. Till you taste milk shake and salt and sugar days and the world spins and the stars sound like harmonicas.'

I loved this
Aussie Book challenge 2011 #3

I guess there are a lot of people who don't know the right thing to say. You don't notice them so much because they pretend they do.

Meet, Charlie and Rose. Charlie loves her music but she craves just one thing. A real friend. Rose loves her boyfriend Luke, but she dreams of being free from her dead-end town and wants to move to the city and go to school.
When Charlie comes to the Country to visit with her grandpa, and flip a few burgers, Rose gets in her head that Cha
This gorgeous little novel caught me totally unaware.

I shouldn’t have been surprised – it was written by Cath Crowely, after all, and my love of her lyrical style was firmly sealed with Graffiti Moon – but this book basically crept up on me, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “Excuse me, but I’ll be hijacking your emotions now.”

The themes Crowley deals with are not exactly groundbreaking – friendship, self-esteem, grief, first love, acceptance, change – but they are intensely relatable an

A Little Wanting Song is quite literally about wanting, and so much more.

Charlie is spending her Christmas holiday with her father at her grandfather’s home in the country. Charlie, like any teenage girl, wants so many things. She wants her Dad to notice her but he’s too crippled by grief. She lost her mother in a tragic accident, but her father might as well have died then too. Charlie wants to be noticed and fit in with friends. She wants to have the courage to play her songs and show her tal
I didn't quite enjoy this one as much as I had hoped.... the cover just screamed AMAZING at me. While it wasn't my absolute favorite, i still liked it. And, now that I'm finished I am left longing for more.

Charlie was hands-down my pick. Compared to Rose, she just seemed so much nicer, like someone I would want to be friends with. I loved her quirky songs and random thoughts... I too love FOZZY!!! I wanted a bit more from her relationship with Dave, but it was great for something to be so innoce
Shirley Marr
When I first got this book, I showed the blurb to my sister to see what she thought. "Charlie Duskin is about to have the best summer of her life. She's about to meet a friend who'll change her forever. She's about to fall in love," she read. "Shirley, how is this different to every other teen book you've been reading???" Okay, so the themes are familiar. But I like to call them universal. And the reason why this book easily knocks over every other book in the genre is because of Cath Crowley.

Sep 22, 2011 Maggie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "If I Stay" and "Where She Went"
I haven't been this excited about an author since I first read Melina Marchetta earlier this year. I'm not comparing the two since comparing anyone to Marchetta is like comparing a book to Hunger Games -- unfair, but Cath Crowley is now firmly on my "Will read anything this author publishes" list. I loved, loved Graffiti Moon and was prepared to be let down but still like this book. I mean, who could follow Ed and Lucy, Leo and Jazz? Answer: Dave Robbie and his black singlet can!

I'm schoolgirl g
Jun 06, 2010 Misty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of contemporary teen lit, coming of age stories, humorous characters, music lovers
I generally don't read a lot of contemporary, for whatever reason. I think I'm always afraid that it's going to be very soapy and melodramatic and whiny -- something, I don't know, just a little too much and not really my thing. But like every genre, there's the good and the bad, and I need to realize that I can't be afraid of sampling it from time to time in order to find the good. Because when it's good, it's good. This is good.

In A Little Wanting Song, Cath Crowley was able to really captur
Meh. A Little Wanting Song is told from alternating points of view. There is sixteen year old Charlie, a socially awkward, sensitive, musically talented girl with few friends. And there is also Rose, a sixteen year old, socially awkward, mean girl who is also quite interested in science and has few friends. Do they sound a little similar here? They do in the book, too. Their voices aren't that different from each other. This book relies heavily on dialogue between not just Charlie and Rose, but ...more
I'll keep this short: at first I thought it would be predictable: two girls who both want. Whether it's where the other was or what the other was like, they both wanted something. And for a little while it was (predictable,) then I got to know them a little more. Rose Butler isn't simply the tough/smart/pissy girl who couldn't wait to leave. Charlie Duskin isn't just the awkward girl who could sing. They were more than those things. I couldn't really relate to either of the girls, Rose was too i ...more
Sara Grochowski
I could tell by the description of A LITTLE WANTING SONG that I would enjoy it, but I had no idea how much I would come to love it. Often, when I finish a good novel, I'll feel satisfied, but ALWS was different. Cath Crowly left me longing... longing for more of this brilliant, soulful novel and the characters I had come to love.

ALWS is told in alternating point-of-view by Charlie and Rose, two girls who are, at first glance, complete opposites, but, in truth, have more in common than either eve
Watermelon Daisy

I love this book so much. I love it, I love it, I love it. It didn’t take me long to read this at all, and believe me, it has nothing to do with the number of pages. Where do I start? This was one of the most original books I’ve ever read.

We have the main character who has always been misunderstood, but Charlie doesn’t have that “cliché” feeling attached to her. The reason people tend to overlook her is actually quite reasonable –she’s never able to speak out what she’s actually feeling. She mus
Jess - The Tales Compendium
What can I say except WOW. I was completely absorbed from the first page (well actually the quotes on the back got me first) and read it in one sitting. Cath Crowleys' words flow so well, they are like a warm blanket wrapped around you in the middle of winter. They are comfort. This is a funny, beautifully written novel that will leave you desperate for anything else this fantastic author has written.

"There was this beat under my skin, a little disco weaving through me. That's how it is when I'm
Steph Su
Who could've guessed that such an unassuming book could be so lyrical, so haunting, so memorable? But so it is. A LITTLE WANTING SONG blew me away. More than simply pretty words or a classic coming-of-age summer story, Cath Crowley’s impressive novel is beautiful inside and out in its own quirky way, just like its characters.

Cath Crowley clearly has the heart of a poet. Words feel like her beloved; there is a simultaneous ease and depth with which she writes, stringing phrases together that, at
Ahhh, I adore Cath Crowley's writing and she definitely managed to lure me in again after the great read that was Graffiti Moon. A lovely coming of age story told in alternating points of view, music, summer (I love me my summer books), boys, friendship. The star of this novel for once wasn't the devoloping relationship between Charlie and Dave, but much more the friendship between Charlie and Rose, two girls who couldn't be any more different. The book has this wonderful melancholic feel to it ...more
This was just as good as Graffiti Moon (not better, though). I liked Charlie more than Rose, but Rose's romance was a lot better than Charlie's. Only wish there'd been a little bit more to the ending because it felt rather abrupt. Then again, this book could have been extended by ten more chapters and I would have still wanted more of Crowly's beautiful writing. :)
I am still undecided between 4 and 5 stars. It was really, really great (especially the second half), but it doesn't beat Graffiti Moon.
Danielle (Love at First Page)
3-3.5 stars

It's just like the title suggests: this is a book about wanting, and the prose is a song of its own. Charlie wants to be more: more than the girl who can't stand up for herself, who won't sing in a crowd, who hasn't confronted her dad about his silent treatment. Rose wants more for herself: more than the small country town she's grown up in, more than the life her mother and father have, more than a boyfriend who may trap her when all she wants is escape. A summer of friendship, first
Kayla Ashley
Wow! I loved this book way more than I ever would have expected. It's a young adult contemporary novel... which isn't really the genre I would typically pick if you asked me what I like to read so maybe that's why I'm so surprised? I don't know, but this book was just so lovely and I loved it so much that I read it all in pretty much one sitting! I was only going to read a chapter or so and the next thing I know an hour and a half had gone by and I was halfway done the book!! This book is THAT g ...more
I love to read. I know, I know, I'm totally stating the obvious there but I have a point: I love to read, and books like this are a big reason why.

When you read a lot, you come across so many different books; good books and bad books, books you love or like or hate, books that make you laugh or think or cry or just...make you feel. Some books get under your skin, while others just entertain you for a little while. Every so often though, you stumble across a rare gem of a book that just -- clicks
Anzu The Great Destroyer
My thoughts before reading A Little Wanting Song
- The Dark Side (a super secret group I’m a member of) birthday read. Mandatory. Not so happy about mandatory books;

- [after reading the summary] Ugh, that doesn’t sound too good;

- [after checking out friends' ratings] Lots of five stars. I wonder why;

- [175 pages on my Kindle] Short book, so if it sucks I won't have to put up with 400 pages of misery. :happy dance:

- [after staring at the book’s table of contents for more than 10 minutes] I will so
Rating: 3.5 Stars

For some reason, I was utterly surprised by this. A Little Wanting Song is the type of story that creeps upon you, slowly invading your every thought, memory, and emotion and proving to be both an evocative and powerful read. Although I'll admit that Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon was definitely a much better book - both in terms of the writing style, depth, and story - A Little Wanting Song was beautiful and will be sure to resonate deeply with every girl.

All Charlie Duskin has
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  • Will
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  • The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It
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Author of A Little Wanting Song (Chasing Charlie Duskin), Graffiti Moon and the Gracie series. Am living in Melbourne and writing my next book. You can also find me at
More about Cath Crowley...
Graffiti Moon The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain (Gracie Faltrain, #1) Gracie Faltrain Gets It Right (Finally) (Gracie Faltrain, #3) Gracie Faltrain Takes Control (Gracie Faltrain, #2) The Howling Boy

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“You're always saying people don't like you but people can't like something that's not there.” 94 likes
“It's a different kind of missing. You're trying to remember, and he's trying to forget.” 52 likes
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