By Shelley Coriell
Amulet Books, $16.95, 320 pages
Chloe is a social fish, queen of the school, whom everyone laughs and has a good time with. So she gets an ugly shock when her friends Brie and Mercedes exclude her at school after spring break, determined to ruin her social life line. She knows that Brie has been having family troubles, but Chloe has been dealing with some of her own-matters that cannot be dissolved with a joke. To make matters worse she has to redo her whole JISP paper, something she cannot graduate without. For her subject Chloe gets signed up to work at the school’s failing radio station, with a crew who may have their own problems but support each other as an odd family. She develops a crush on the technician, Duncan, whose life revolves around his problems at home. Chloe learns that listening is just as good, and sometimes better than talking to help someone.
Shelley Coriell creates the most interesting, in depth, and satisfying novel I have read in a long time. The readers watch as Chloe grows in her understanding of herself and those around her as she tries to lighten everyone’s problems. The importance of laughter everyday is explored, while the idea of balance is reached. The stress of problems at home that some students have is well portrayed, bringing a very realistic and understanding quality to the book. It sends an important message to bounce back from hard times. Readers understand how important friends and family are in their support for one another, and how others don’t have these bonds. The pages will fly through in Chloe’s voice, leading readers through her life.
Reviewed by Amanda Muir