Songs for a Teenage Nomad
She's used to living on the outskirts, not getting emotional involved with anyone. Then friends creep into her new life with a boy who has a secret. Callie's mother has a huge secret too. Like who is her father and why her mother won't discuss him. All Callie wants is to find love and the truth.
I really love the idea of having a song journal to record songs that reflect how you feel at certain times of your life. The author does a great job of showing us Callie by giving us glimpses into songs that document her life. Callie is a very likeable character, one I'm sure teens will relate with. Who hasn't felt on the outskirts looking in?
At times lyrical, the writing swepts the reader into the ups and downs of relationships. Callie's mother comes off as flaky but toward the end of the novel, the reader will find the reason for this. Sometimes I got a tad bit confused with all the characters and the Sam and Calle relationship felt a little forced. I really loved Eli and wanted to see more of him. But overall this is a fresh tale which will have you humming to some of the tunes in Callie's journal. You might even want to start your own journal.
Summary: Calle has moved around her whole life, since her father left, and when she and her mother end up in Andreas Bay, California, Calle assumes that it will be more of the same. But when her mother seems to settle down with her new boyfriend and her now job, Calle settles into a new life too; new friends and a new place in school, a new crush with a complicated past, and a girl who has a mysterious link with him.
For a while, things go pretty smoothly. And then, Calle's mom and her mom's boyfriend have a fight, and Calle worries that her flighty mother will pack them up and move them out again. But Calle's mother assures her that they won't. Calle finds a letter from her father in her mother's drawer, and discovers that her father has been looking for them for a long time. Calle is furious, but her mother insists that there are things that Calle doesn't know about her father. Calle agrees to leave it alone, but she's not being truthful.
Calle's mother and her boyfriend break up, and Calle realizes that soon, her mother will insist on leaving. Upset, Calle tells her crush, Sam, about it. Sam tells his father, who procures Calle's mom a new address and a new job, and things go back to almost better than normal, except for Calle's fight with her mom. One night, Calle has coffee by herself while reading a book for English. While she's drinking, her father walks in and they talk.
Calle comes home from school one day to find her father in the apartment, yelling at her mother. She tells him to leave, and he does, but Calle's mother says they still have to go.
On their way out, they stop in at a gas station to get supplies, and they discover that there's been a car crash on the nearby highway. Calle and her mother know immediately who it is that died in the crash. They turn around and go back to Andreas Bay.
Wow. This book was just fantastic.
The best thing about the book was that the characters were all just really well developed and believable, especially Calle, the main character. She was definitely the best character in the book. As the story progressed, we learned more about her past and how the rather sad events in her past have effected her. She has realistic reactions to all the events except, I felt, for one. (But I'm not telling what it is because it's way too spoiler-y.) Throughout the whole book she's trying to figure herself and the people around her out, and in the end, I think she does. She's also got typical teenage girl problems, which I think a lot of people can relate to.
The bits about Calle trying to figure out why her mom won't let her dad and what is up with potential boyfriend Sam's home life add a touch of mystery to the story. I always enjoy a bit of mystery in what I read. It keeps me wondering.
Also, I loved how all the chapter titles were names of songs. It shows just how important music is to Calle is her ever-changing life.
Bad things...bad things...I can't think of any really significant ones other than that I thought Sam and Calle got a little annoying at times.
I definitely recommend this book. It was absolutely wonderful.