K. Lincoln's Reviews > Amplified

Amplified by Tara Kelly
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's review
Mar 15, 2012

it was amazing
Read from March 14 to 15, 2012

I think I'm a confirmed Tara Kelly fan now. I loved Harmonic Feedback so much; the immersion in music, the development of Drea's character that I was reluctant to pick up Amplified in case it was disappointing or (gasp) boring.

Shouldn't have worried. Kelly took me back to the Santa Cruz boardwalk culture, complete with serious and earnest psychics, annoying tourists, and an arts culture both pretentious and cool.

Jasmine has decided to leave the perfect life her Dad has mapped out for her and instead of going to Stanford she's going to at last follow her heart; music.

She has no idea how she's going to make money or if she's good enough to play live (she's only played with her best friend Jason in the garage before) and she makes naive mistakes all the time, but she's going to go through with this.

But then her car breaks down. And her last chance audition is a band that says "guys preferred."

I love the Jasmine is strong, but breaks down and tries to borrow money from her Dad. I love that their realistic fights center on both's insecurities about love and trust and how Jasmine's absent mother affects them both.

It was very, very painful watching Jasmine's first live gig, so much was I invested in her doing well. But true to real life, we fail and we pick up and move on and try harder. Jasmine makes several major mistakes and does just that; moves on.

And then there's the romance. Sean's in the band, been cheated on by his girlfriend, and seems to have nothing but criticism for newbie Jasmine. Watching him take care of her anyway in small ways was lovely. While my romance heart cringed that they were hooking up despite the fact he was just out of a major relationship and they played in the band together, I think it was entirely realistic, entirely "teen caught up in major life moments" kind of expression of Jasmine's physical self-knowledge.

The icing on the cake is Jasmine's love of music. Like Drea in Harmonic Feedback, Jasmine's utterly compelling knowledge of music and name dropping of bands and musical styles takes you into the music in a way most amateurs can never know.

Tight, compelling, and utterly fun to read.

This Book's Snack Rating: An array of tasty treats from the Santa Cruz boardwalk; cotton candy for the sweet, melt in your mouth sweetness of Jasmine and Sean's feelings to the oily goodness of fried artichokes for the way band culture (and it's accompanying drama) drenches the book.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Ariana I am so glad that you liked it too.
And yes, I was happy too when Sean tried to help her and took her side when others were picking fights for no good reasons. ;))

message 2: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. Lincoln It's not an easy thing to balance that whole "gruff attraction" with helping someone even when they throw up in your room....

Ariana Hahaaa... I forgot about that - i think that we need to give him more bonus points, LOL.

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