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Music From Standing Waves

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  46 reviews
'When I was performing, it didn't matter that I'd handed in a dodgy techniques assignment, or that Justin had slept with Mia instead of me. It didn't matter that my parents didn't want to know me, or that my brother had done a runner with Clara's money. With a bow in my hand I was able to eradicate anything I didn't want to think about.

But playing for Matt was different.
Published August 2015
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4.33  · 
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 ·  80 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Bill Ward
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this gentle story of a young girl, who dreams about becoming a concert violinist and escaping her small town life. This is very much a character driven story, following Abby as she moves to the big city, to follow her dreams by studying at the Melbourne Conservatorium against the wishes of her mother. It is a story about a young girl growing up, her first boyfriends, challenges with her family, encountering the competitive world of the Conservatorium and all the accompanying emotions, wh ...more
Iva Kenaz
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Music From Standing Waves is a very nice, touching, and feel-good novel that takes us on a journey through one unique girl’s life.

Abby grew up in a small beach town in Australia, spending her childhood years alongside her best friend, Justin. As they grow up, they realise that their interest in one another is more complicated. They have a good chance of starting a beautiful romance, but Justin simply isn’t as mature as Abby and a bit of a jerk. Also, Abby has big plans for her future and thinks
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this book recommended to me by a friend and really enjoyed it. Even though I'm not a musician, I was really drawn into the story by the very realistic characters. Great for a holiday read.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed for - 3.5 stars

I would say that Music from Standing Waves by Johanna Craven is, in itself, a musical composition. The notes, the ingredients, they have been disposed upon a previously clear sheet of paper. There’s a particular order to these elements, a rhythm that leads you through the life of Abby, the girl who dreamed of performing her way out – or perhaps her way in.

If you want to truly enjoy this novel, you cannot be afraid of getting lost i
Jana Petken
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poignant and very well written story about Abby, her love for the violin, and her relationships with friends and family.

The tale begins with a little bit of a mystery. Abby disembarking the aircraft and wondering whether to leave her precious violin on board.
This is not a fast paced roller coaster ride but more of an even paced, page by page development of relationships with various character who are introduced and lovingly developed.

I loved the way in which we earn about Abby's inner feelings.
Vita Rogers
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sceptical about whether I would enjoy this book, as I'm not a musician. But the story and characters really drew me in and I read the book in a few sittings over the bank holiday weekend. I found Abby's drive to achieve her dreams really relatable; and admired her commitment to follow them in spite of family expectations and rural upbringing. Although I must say Acacia Beach didn't seem that bad; I might even visit if I ever get over to Australia!
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book was one heck of a ride.
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be a rollercoaster.
Its because it made me feel some type of way. I literally felt all kinds of emotions while reading this.
This book is about family, finding unexpected love, and chasing your dreams.
Overall, the plot was amazing and it got me hooked from start to finish. I couldn't put it down! I love the drama !
It also had a lot of character developments. I appreciate that so much.
I love the ending a
Jennifer D
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an enjoyable and easy read. While the book did at times tackle some quite heavy issues, it was done in such an effortless way that I never felt bogged down by the story. The characters were so real, the situations very believable and the settings very vivid.

I read this through the new adult fiction group, but this book could easily be enjoyed by older readers too. Abby's problems were all very relatable and the opening section set in the 1990s made me nostalgic for my own childhoo
Jennifer Loiske
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you have to go far to see the truth…

Abby is a small town girl with big dreams. In spite of her horrible mother who does everything in her power to stop Abby from reaching her dreams, Abby decides to try her luck and moves to Melbourne. However, the grass rarely is greener on the other side…

This is a gem for young adult readers. Something different… A book that matters… The language is vivid and the writing style easy going. Love for music is leaking through the pages, and you can almos
Paulette Mahurin
This beautifully written lyrical prose starts out with the protagonist Abby disembarking from a plane, arriving in Australia. There’s a moment when she thinks of leaving her violin in the storage compartment lending an air of mystery. Why would she want to do that and what happened to provoke it? A good start that grabs attention. As the story progresses, characters are introduced: Justin her childhood BFF; Andrew her piano teacher; Andrew’s wife Hayley the glamour girl from a rich family, and N ...more
Michael Kelly
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel about a girl from a remote little town in Australia who begins taking violin lessons and develops a real passion for music.

There are a large number of themes running through the book, each one becoming predominant at times, but all ever-present, blending in the story of Abby's life, relationships and decisions.

There's the theme of artistic obsession. I've never been able to play an instrument, but I'm a great lover of music and I can certainly understand creative obsession. And it's an o
Ian Hunter
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely story of a girl with a passion for music. She grows up in a sleepy corner of Australia that she feels suffocated by. She’s bored. There’s nothing here for her. And music is her only escape. Ironically, what she’s recoiling from, many of us would consider paradise. The charm of the local characters, scenery, and culture of the Australian province, the slices of travel literature that sneak up on you through the pages, makes the world the lead character wants to escape very much o ...more
Jennifer Young
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Music From Standing Waves is a coming-of-age novel with added grit — the health warning comes at the outset, as it really isn’t for anyone who can’t take a lot of swearing. If you can get through the realism then it’s a good and gripping read, detailing young Abby’s love affair with the violin and the way music takes her from a small town in Queensland to studying music in Melbourne.

Johanna Craven is a terrific, engaging writer and the story holds the reader from the beginning as Abby stumbles t
Grant Leishman
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being someone who is musically challenged, I was a little concerned when I first picked up Craven's book, Music From Standing Waves. Would I understand it or would it be too muso. for me? I needn't have worried on either score. What it was was a wonderful story about a young girl from "the back of beyond" in Australia, who dreamed of one day playing the great concert halls of the world, as a concert violinist.

The story was beautifully written and the characters well developed and complex. We fo
Melissa Craven
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught my eye and I decided to review it because I adore classical music, the violin especially!
I absolutely loved this book! It was such and unexpected find and I'm so glad I picked it up. Abby is a strong willed, determined young woman, but she's still flawed and struggles to find the right path for her life. Her passion for music is as admirable as her determination to make something of herself. As a reader, I'm always looking for female leads like Abby because she is a great examp
E.M. Cooper
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved ‘Music from Standing Waves’ and I’m wondering how I can do it justice. It’s wonderful. It brims with so much life and feeling and is so well written. When I learned the author, Johanna Craven is a musician I began to understand how she was able to capture the contrasting atmospheres of both Acacia Beach and the Melbourne Conservatorium and why her writing style is so lyrical and musical.

The tale follows the struggles of a talented musician, a young Australian girl living in Ac
Carissa Lynch
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's obvious that a musician wrote this book because the words just sing from the page, with such lyrical and beautifully written prose. The opening of this book was magical, with this sense of untold mystery in the air. I was immediately hooked! When Abby hears a violin for the first time, she immediately falls in love with music. Nothing and no one can stop her from pursuing her one life's dream-- to play at the Melbourne Conservatorium. As the story progresses, gliding us through her experien ...more
Marian Thornley
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when I read a book that captures my thoughts all day long - that is what happened with this book, and I almost completed it in one sitting. Abigail takes us through her childhood in a remote town in Northern Queensland - her longing to escape; the increasing role of music in her life; the awkwardness of her relationship with the boy next door. The weather plays such a role here it is almost another character. When Abigail moves on by means of a scholarship to a prestigious music school ...more
Kathy Gates
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that the 'standing waves' of the title related to the the narrator's childhood. Abby grew up in what sounds and feels like an idyllic setting in coastal north Queensland where rainforest meets sea. But no, it refers to music or more specifically sound waves. And it's the tension between home and music that is the nub of Craven's novel. The first half deals with Abby's desperation to escape the small world of Acacia Beach -- her musical talent is her ticket out. But when music becomes a ...more
Colin Griffiths
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Not my usual genre but I really loved it. For me the style of writing is perfect for such a beautifully written story. I loved the main character Abbey as she chases her dreams and the events that sometimes come between her and those dreams. I loved the journey that the author created for her and the love hate relationship with her parents, particularly her mother.

In some ways it was like reading someone's memoirs because the main character was so real I'm sure she actually e
May Panayi
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a surprisingly good book; I did not expect to like it anywhere near as much as I did. I could hardly put it down. As a child I played second violin in the music school orchestra myself, so it brought back some memories, but my similarities ended there. Though I do know all about un-supportive parents in other ways. I shouted at the book a couple of times, willing Abby not to answer her phone at one point. The characterisation is brilliant, you really feel involved in Abby's life. Not th ...more
Reg Shell
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly Recommended

I chose Music From Standing Waves because of my love for historical fiction and my country Australia. The settings of far north Australia contrasted in an interesting way with the Melbourne Music Conservatorium. I have personal knowledge of both, northern Australia and Melbourne's classical music world, and feel that the author Johanna Craven successfully captures the surroundings as well as the sensitivity of characters in this superb novel.

Davis Galimberti
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable light read. Would recommend to those who are musically inclined, children of the 80/90s or have a general interest in Australia. The author captures really well the tension between one's aspirations in life and their heritage/family background and associated inhibitions. Would recommend.
Tracy Kincaid
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took awhile to get into the story but once I did I found that I could relate to the story. Wonderful story.
Astrid Arditi
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning! A story of passion, regrets and hope. A young woman led by her fierce love for music and a desperate need to escape her small town and small minded family. Highly recommend it...
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great story from a different perspective - a young musician who wants to be a professional soloist goes after her dream, but it's not as easy and fun as she thought it would be. Abby's dream begins when she is 12 years old, and the reader follows the story until she's 20.

I appreciated the depictions of music, skills, dedication, hard work, and the choices that need to be made when trying to become a professional musician. I also enjoyed the description of the small town mentality vs t
Dominique Kyle
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
This is a wonderful book, all hemmed about with the claustrophobia of living in a small community and spending your whole life dreaming of getting out. I was so invested in the heroine that I actually had to stop reading the book at about 95% of the way through because I was so agonised by the bad choices she was making that I could no longer bear the suspense of whether I was going to be disappointed in her final fate. If I hate the ending of a book then I throw it at the wall, and since I was ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at Tea & Titles

*A copy of this book was supplied to us by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I’m writing this review immediately after finishing Music From Standing Waves—my mind is racing a million miles a minute. Basically, I can’t promise that this is going to make any sense but I’m going to try my best to explain how much I loved this book.

The moment I opened the e-mail from Johanna, I knew this book was going to be my cup of tea. It’s set half in Queensland, h
Ellie Midwood
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I loved it! I loved Abby’s story so much that I read the book literally in two evenings. It is such an inspiring story which I’m sure can resonate with so many young people, who are trying to find their path in life.
It’s a story of a teenage girl living in suburban Australia… and hating it. She feels miserable, confined in a tiny community when all she dreams about is becoming a famous violin player and performing with an orchestra in a big city. Despite her mother’s resentment to her musi
Janet Gogerty
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not entirely coincidentally I am also reading an intense and deep biography by a violinist who lead a quartet for years. I am not a musician though I have attempted to learn violin, recorder, guitar and piano over the years and can read the most simple lines of music. I love music, but am more likely to be found enjoying a symphony orchestra and soloist thundering through a Rachmaninov piano concerto than to be listening to an exquisite string quartet. However ecstatic a piece of music makes us ...more
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New Adult Book Club: #132/15 Music From Standing Waves by Johanna Craven 8 26 Sep 10, 2015 11:33PM  

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New release 'The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' out now from Endeavour Press.

Johanna Craven is an Australian-born writer of historical and contemporary fiction. She is also a film composer, music teacher and pianist. She has lived in Melbourne and Los Angeles and is currently based in London.

Her more questionable hobbies include ghost hunting, meditative dance and pretending to be a competito