Amplified

 
5.0 (2)
 
3.3 (1)
2335 0
Amplified
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 25, 2011
ISBN
978-0805092967
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When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . .

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Amplified
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This is the story of 17 year old Jasmine and her struggle to not only follow her dreams of playing guitar in a real band but of finding out who she really is apart from her controlling father. She'll find the band but will she be able to convince them she has what it takes? Will she be able to convince herself?

Jasmine quickly discovers the life of a true musician is a complicated one, especially when there are egos, reputations and even hearts to protect. If she can keep her focus on her dream and not let her own heart get distracted by a certain bass player she just might make her dreams come true and prove something to both herself and her father.

Being a music lover myself, I enjoyed how author, Tara Kelly gives the reader a backstage pass into the music world and we get to see the good, the bad, and the mundane. Being able to experience the performance through the eyes of the characters whether it's hearing the roar of the crowd, feeling the guitar strings slide beneath your fingers or the dizzying high after a great show, Kelly's words put you right there. She gives us a lesson in the technical side of band life too and had me asking myself, "Diezel?" Wait, isn't that a type of gas or the name of some dude who drives cars in action movies?" We're also given a glimpse into the disappointment of the music dream as what was "supposed to be" doesn't always equal "how it really is" as is evident when Jasmine has her meeting with Nile.

Kelly's cast of characters are all full of raw emotion, giving them a real, authentic feel. Jasmine is full of life and determination and doesn't give up easy. When she bombs at her first live show, you feel all the pain, frustration and humiliation right along with her. When she's trying to navigate her feelings for Sean, you get caught up in the emotion of falling hard for a cute boy for the very first time. Each time she deals with her father, your heart breaks a little more for both of them but mostly for what he's missing out on.

Veta is a mix of nonconformity and immaturity. (Like a lot of teens) While she is fiercely protective of those she loves and loyal to her friends, she also doesn't hesitate to retaliate against those she feels have wronged her. (veggie smoothie anyone?) Felix is a colorful character (literally) with his blue pigtails and pink tutus but he has the biggest heart of all of them and then there's Sean. (insert swoonish *sigh*) At first glance, Sean appears to be the typical rocker boy with the all black clothes, funky hair, tats, piercings and 'tude, LOTS of 'tude but once he begins to let his guard down we see there's more to him than meets those amazing green eyes. (not focusing on the abs, not focusing on the abs...) He's thoughtful, caring, and also happens to be crazy smart! (There's nothing hotter than a cute boy with a brain.)

Most of these characters tend to live in the moment, not necessarily focusing on the consequences of their actions. This isn't out of the norm for the average teen and certainly doesn't seem abnormal for band life either, however, there are extremes in every situation. Jasmine's father imposing so many rules suffocates her but the life that Nile describes leaves very little accountability or boundaries whatsoever. Zia, leader singer for "Luna's Temptation" attempts to give Jasmine advice about the industry telling her, "This business will devour you like an afternoon snack," she said, "If you're not ready for the fight of your life...run." "Run like hell." (page 280) With the odds stacked against her, now more than ever, Jasmine must decide whether to stay and fight for what she wants or pack up and go back to Daddy and the life he wants for her.

It's never easy to follow your dreams but as Jasmine discovers, sometimes following your dreams is the only way to really find the your way home.

Good Points
The author's musical background brings these complex characters as well as their performances to life.
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Authetic tale
(Updated: October 30, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
One thing I love about author Tara Kelly is her realistic portrayals of characters that holds nothing back. In Harmonic Feedback she shows us the world of Drea with it's coming of age tale of a teen that just happens to have sensory issues.
Once again Kelly delivers with Amplified that continues in her winning style.

This is an authetic contemporary tale that shows us Jasmin, a privileged teen, who wants to prove to not only her father but herself that she can cut it in the music world. She tries out for lead guitarist in the band C-side even though the ad says only males apply. I loved her determination in face of odds against her. Also her persistence when things come crashing down around her.

In Amplified we see a world that is raw and also filled with colorful characters. There's my favorite Felix, a teddy bear of a guy with humor that lightens up the pages. Sean, who at first comes across as hard but worms himself into Jasmin's heart.

What I love about Amplified is Kelly knows this world and shows it to us in all it's realistic flavor. Veta, as the lead singer of the band C-side is another one of my favorite characters who happens to live with her sister and mother in an apartment above a psychic shop. Her relationship with Jasmin is intense at times but also I love how faithful and loyal she is with her belief in Jasmine when it seems no one else is.

The emotions Jasmin goes through on trying out for the band C-Side are power packed. This has to be one of the most realistic YA bands books I've read yet. The scene where she has her first gig in front of a live audience was like a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs.

You feel Jasmin's fear of performing for the very first time, to her struggles with her emotions with Sean, and finally her passion for her music. Though you can't hear it, Kelly does a great job showing readers the flavor and emotions of the musical world told with honesty and feeling.

There's a website set up for Amplified: http://amplifiedthebook.com/media.html
Kelly says there will be a song up soon. Can't wait to hear it.

Enjoyable find for music fans that's authentic with real characters that you cheer for.
Good Points
Author Tara Kelly's music background really shines here
Has to be one of the most authetic YA books with a band I've read yet
Multi-layered characters
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
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Amplified (A Room with Books review)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Amplified was a fun read, but sadly not as awesome as I’d hoped. I think I’d been a little setup for failure, though since I’m not quite as big a music fan as most of my blogger friends who gave it rave reviews. Still, it was really fun (and a little weird) reading about a main character who shared more similarities with me than just a name. Besides, you know, musical abilities :P

Jasmine was a hard-headed, stubborn girl, but I didn’t really find it too annoying for the most part. She knew what she wanted and she was willing to do the hard work to get it. Sometimes I just wanted to shout at the girl to ask for/accept a little help, but I completely understand why she was the way she was. I mean, with a father as crappy as hers, I’m sure I’d have learned to do things on my own too.

I really liked the band and how the characters who made it up were really well-rounded. They didn’t really feel like side characters at all, in fact. If any of them were missing I kind of feel like the book wouldn’t have been the same at all. That’s not to say I liked them all. I kind of hated Bryn, actually. He was a big fat jerkwad and I frequently felt like punching him in the face. Veta was spunky and crazy and just plain awesome. She was definitely one of my favorite characters :] Felix was…well, Felix was strange to me. I don’t have a problem with dudes wearing tutus and pigtails, but I just wanted to know why. I’d actually love to read a companion starring him.

Then we have Sean and his and Jasmine’s relationship. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Sean. He was sexy and snarky, sure, but he was also really hung up on that stupid Amy girl. I get it, I really do, but I wish he could have gotten over her and just went for Jasmine wholeheartedly. If you’re looking for a fresh relationship formula, then you’ll definitely find it in Jasmine and Sean.

The Nutshell: Though Amplified wasn’t a complete win for me, it wasn’t really a loss either. I think most of my disappointment could be attributed to high expectations. If you’re a music lover or like books with music then you’ll probably have a much bigger appreciation for Amplified than I did. If you’re looking for something beyond your typical boy-meets-girl-and-smoochy-smoochy-ensues then you should definitely check this one out. If you love bold, strong characters then give Amplified a try :D
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