Thursday, May 3, 2012
Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe, by Shelley Coriell
Release date: May 1st 2012
Published by: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
- A copy was provided by Netgalley for review purposes
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.
Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe, picked my curiosity not only because of its cover - which, let's admit, it's unique - but because of the premise. I was looking for a light, contemporary story, and right after reading the synopsis, I knew I had found it. However, after a couple of chapter, I realized that Shelley Coriell's book is a lot more than that.
Chloe Camden would be that girl in school who's charming and knows how to make someone laugh, even if the person is her worst enemy. She's clever, has good taste in shoes, and most of all, is loyal to those she loves. I found this particularly endearing. She's self-centered sometimes, but still cares about her friends and family. The author created a character here that felt very real. I do know some people that can make me laugh and see things in a positive way, even when my life is going downhill. Needless to say, I loved Chloe.
With a perfect, yet very human, main character, it's easier for the plot to flow smoothly. Chloe's issues with her best friend, Brie, her grandmother, and the radio staff, were connected and each one added something new to Chloe's personality. She learned to listen, to use her compassion... The character development in this novel was palpable, and I'm not just talking about Chloe here. A simple plot and a lovely main character open a lot of doors, including the probability of exploring secondary characters more deeply. Clem, the radio admin, and Duncan, were remarkable addictions.
It's no secret I love a love story. And with Duncan, I had some of that. It wasn't The love story, but something light and heart-warming, that felt natural to both Chloe and Duncan. I'm very satisfied with this aspect of the story. Mrs. Coriell has a lot of potential, not only when it comes to romance, but in general. Her writing is full of details, and at the same time, incredibly easy to comprehend.
What started off as a cute and funny story ended up being a surprisingly fresh book about growing up and facing the changes life has to offer. Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe, is an excellent novel, and though it took me a couple of days to really get into it, I'd recommend it to anyone, especially teenagers. Truly bewitching.