Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tape” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,182 ratings  ·  392 reviews
Record a voice and it lasts forever…

In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.

In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t qui
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published January 30th 2014 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tape, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Emily Is Awesome
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,182 ratings  ·  392 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Tape

There will be no proper review because I only reached around 50 pages in. Perhaps, one day I will pick this book up again but I don't think it'll be any time soon. The few days I tried reading this, I just wasn't feeling it. :|

Here is a few words: I don't think anyone should take my DNF and make it the reason why they won't read this. Tape has a great story about love, not just romantic love but also family love. (I skimmed the last few pages.) I can't say much about the characters but the r
Paula M
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, arc

Have you ever seen a book that you desperately WANT to like? Yeah, its TAPE for me. I'm big at books that includes music and/or time traveling plot. This one doesn't have the music aspect, but the time traveling (sort of) aspect is very much present.

Ameliah and Ryan is connected more than a tape. Ameliah is from 2013 and Ryan is from 1993. But they found a way to talk to each other.. and how is that? I DO NOT KNOW BECAUSE IT WASN'T EXPLAINED VERY WELL. IT MUST BE MAGIC. Anyway, the bigger questi
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
OK, so I almost put it down after only one chapter. I didn't. Obviously.

The thing that really, REALLY annoyed me in the beginning was the lack of quotation marks. SO annoying! There are only these stupid dashes instead, and at first that was SO confusing. Here's an example:

- Blah blah blah, said Ryan. Blah blah blah?

I thought the dash symbolises the speach, right? But the 'said Ryan' part is right in the middle of it and it is not separated from the speach properly. You'll know what I mean whe
Oct 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book would probably be more interesting for the audience it's targetted at: kids.

I liked the concept and loved the way the book has been designed (front & back cover drawn as the outline of a cassette tape. But personally, I found the story was dragging a bit and the writing too simple for my adult brain. I would leave it down to being a children's book but some of my favourites are aimed at children so...

I have two shelves of books waiting to be read so I gave up on this part of the way i
Nov 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this. I did. I had high hopes that this was going to be any other 'Perks of Being A Wallflower', but sadly it wasn't anywhere close.

Firstly I hated that the book was set in Britain, yet the characters kept saying Mom instead of Mum. It's a small and silly thing but it bugged the hell out of me. That may have been where my willingness to enjoy the story disappeared.

The plot had such potential,yet I found it obvious, and the characters a bit 2d, wooden and dull.

I sooo wan
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
*actual rating is 2.5 STARS*

With such an eye-catching cover, Steven Camden’s debut novel falls flat, with a dull story and lacklustre characters, leaving the reader disappointed.

Praise to Steven Camden for creating a beautifully handled novel about grief, loss and family. What makes this story so heart-breaking is the raw emotion portrayed through Ameliah and Ryan. This raw emotion is so poetically written that it’s impossible not to break down in a flood of tears. But, incredibly, Camden has m
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley.)
In 1993, 13-year-old Ryan records tapes about his life.
In 2013, 13-year-old Amelia finds some tapes in her grandmother’s spare room, and begins to listen to them, even though the person speaking is too faint for her to hear.
What is the connection between Amelia and Ryan?

This book was just dull. So little happened, and the twist was predictable from the blurb. Not impressed.

Natalie Carroll
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
A beautiful debut masterpiece that is both captivating and enchanting. An exciting account of two lives so inexplicably linked that will keep you guessing right the way through! I cannot recommend this book enough it was utterly un-put-downable! I have high hopes that everyone will love it just as much as I did!
Laura Wilson
Sep 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
The protagonists are 13, so you expect a simpler kind of novel, but I hate it when that happens. 13 year olds are intelligent, they're fantastic, and even if you want to dumb it down for them, this story just never seemed to start. It just dragged from one chapter to another, and not only was it boring, the weird fonts and the way they structured speech just made it a chore to finish.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm speechless... in the most disappointed way ever!



I wanted to like love this book so much! The moment I picked up the book and read the synopsis, I immediately wanted to buy it immediately! The book sounded magical and special and the that the cover was so pretty and from the book's synopsis - the book was supposed to be right up my alley!

I bought the book because it sounded special and I've always wanted to read books about t
Amanda Lawford
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
My puppy destroyed this book and I thanked him for the excuse not to finish it. Mr Camden - learn to write dialog. A novel is not a script.
Sometimes I dig into some books because I felt like it, sometimes because someone felt like it or other times because I need to complete a challenge and I do by reading it. But mostly because I felt like it, although I like that my challenges numbers are growing. I'm being serious when I said that I really felt like reading this book, but when I did... I just wanted to stop, but I did not.

Lately, my young adult books have been about loss and having the kind of end that it isn't happy at all. I'm
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
Still undecided whether to rate this 4.5 or 5 stars.

I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tape is a young adult contemporary novel about two protagonists: Ryan is thirteen years old in 1997. His mother has died, and now his father's new wife and her son have moved into his house. Ameliah is thirteen years old in 2013, her parents have both died, she lives with her grandmother, and has just begun to go through her parents old stuff: guitars,
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It started off completely boring. Nothing really happened except from 2 teenies being weird in 2 different times. It was so slow that I had to constantly remind myself, that they are not actually retarded. Just weird and boring. Although, I have to say, Ameliah sometimes showed serious crazy-cat lady qualities...

What also didn't help getting into the story was the choice of quotation marks. What's the problem with simple "blah"? No, it has something weird with a hyphen which made it quite diffic
Jasmin Moore
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Okay so I really liked this book, the only thing that stopped me from giving it 5/5 was how slow it was and how nothing really happens until half way through.

Once you get past that the suspension starts to build as you have all these unanswered questions and then it's like BOOM PLOT TWIST!

After I found out who joe was I pretty much didn't stop crying until the book ended, it was both beautiful and tragic but I really loved the extra twist at the end with ameliah and ryan. It's such a unique sto
Mar 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya
Well. I'm sorry to say, but I found this book incredibly dull. It had a kind of good-ish peak in the last 30-40 pages, but mostly I was bored by the mechanical descriptions of characters doing stuff. There was a profound lack of whatever it's that happens between the lines in other books when characters are doing nothing but it's still an interesting read. Also the punchline in the plot was obvious after the first two chapters, so the reading was mostly about reaffirming that my suspicions had b ...more
I got to almost 120 pages and skipped to read the final chapter. I had a feeling I knew what was going on, so I decided to skip to the end and find out, and I was right.

The writing and story was very simple, and I didn't like the dashes instead of talking marks for dialogue. I liked the idea behind the story , but it wasn't executed very well. For these reasons I didn't read the whole book, only the start and the end.
Dec 22, 2013 marked it as dnf
Shelves: signed-by-author

The synopsis for this book sounds great which is what drew me to the book, but after trying to make my way through this I've decided I can't finish it.

The constant changing between past and present without notice is confusing and distracting, especially the amount of times it's changed each chapter. I also did not like the layout of the book and how it reads.
I tried to finish it, but there was something about the way it was written that bothered me. I am going to be honest, I skimmed to the last part of the book and was extremely surprised that I was right.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Easily the worst book I've ever read. No idea why I didn't give up. I definitely wasn't the target audience but that's still no defence! The writing was appalling, at points I had to read it out loud to my husband for a laugh it was so bad.
Patrīcija Alise
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would actually give it 4.5 because for me it was too detailed but everything else was absolutly wonderful!♥️♥️
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Ok, I wanted to like this book but when you read a book and are freaking bored before the first chapter even ends, then it isn’t really promising.
I wanted to like this book because I like books about time travel.

I literally gave up on this book on page 50 and didn’t even glance at it again.

The lack of quotation marks really ticks me off. Aren’t authors supposed to know proper grammar and punctuation?

Chitra Ahanthem
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Tape is a simple enough story of two 13 yr olds Ryan and Ameliah who are trying to deal with life and about things that are meant to be.The narrative goes back and forth between Ryan and Ameliah with no hurry to force plot twists but with the tape playing a significant part.There is a charm in this but it also means having to struggle through the first 100 pages as the reader can get impatient.The different fonts used for the two protagonists is a bit distracting considering thst the chapters ar ...more
The story is kind of predictable, but it's nice. The way the story is written kind of irritated me. Because you switch character multiple times within a chapter, I didn't really feel connected to them. (view spoiler) ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads

Such a sweet and cute read
Kristy (Book Nerd Reviews)
Firstly, I have to say that I love the cover of this book. The simplicity of the cover, together with the bold colours and the fact that it clearly represents the book is something that really appeals to me.

I received an ARC of this book some time ago, and I had held of reading it closer to its release date, but I finally caved after it kept on screaming at me to read it (I apologise that it has taken some time for me to post this review). I will admit, I had high expectations for this book, and
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I think that this was a good book and the descriptive language and techniques were very good.The book gets a bit confusing going between Ryan and Amelia at first but then you get used to the change of perspective and it is a good story clearly laid out. I would recommend this book to people as it is a good book to read
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This was definitely a strange read... I found it confusing at first and still don’t really understand the “time travel” aspect. I really don’t think it needed that and was surprised at how little it was explained when this book is marketed as a “time travel novel.” The reveal of the identity of Joe was probably the most interesting aspect for me, and I really wish we had of got to learn more about him.
Rating: 2.5 stars

Tape by Steven Camden is a very odd book. Certainly a very different sort of contemporary the further you delve into the novel. The book follows two very normal everyday characters, Ryan and Ameliah, but the catch is - they exist twenty years apart from each other.

Following the death of her parents, Ameliah moves in with her nan and discovers boxes of her mum's old belongings. One day, she discovers one of those old tapes from the 90s, along with a tape player. She also finds lo
Jul 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-copy
In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her Grandmother after losing her parents. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy's voice on it - a voice she can't quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her. Back in 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother's death and about his love for a new girl he just saw who doesn't even know he exists. Ameliah & Ryan are connected by more than just a tape - this is their story.

That blurb is inaccurate. It makes it s
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Spring 2019, Wild...: Casey Paulucci Review 8 1 1 Apr 12, 2019 07:44AM  
Young Adult bookc...: Tape 1 11 Aug 24, 2015 11:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Playlist for the Dead
  • After
  • The Doll Funeral
  • Toffee
  • Now
  • Soon
  • Maybe
  • Noah Can't Even (Noah Can't Even, #1)
  • The Year We Fell From Space
  • Inheriting Jack
  • The Art of Being Normal
  • The Star Outside my Window
  • And The Stars Were Burning Brightly (And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, #1)
  • Fünf (Beatrice Kaspary, #1)
  • Friday Night Cocktails
  • One
  • Wish You Were Dead (Thrillogy, #1)
  • Lock & West
See similar books…
Steven Camden is one of the most acclaimed spoken-word artists in the country. As Polarbear, he has performed extensively around the UK and internationally. He also writes plays, teaches storytelling in schools, and was a lead artist for Ministry of Stories and The Roundhouse poetry collective.

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
24 likes · 20 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »