I really really enjoyed this book. Jasmine has graduated high school but has decided that the path her father has planned for her isn’t what she wants right now. Her hope to convince him to let her put off college for now isn’t working and he’s kicked her out of his house. She has found herself stranded with a broken down car, a backpack of belongings and her guitars and an amp. She comes from a well-to-do area but that has no impact on her life, her father is no longer supporting her desire to see where music takes her. Her limited savings isn’t going to go very far either so she lies her way into a band that is looking for a live-in roommate.
I really enjoyed the path this story took. There was no easy resolution and things didn’t suddenly fall into place for Jasmine when life started getting too hard. Her lies came back to bite her in the ass, and she had to own up to them.
While this book is really Jasmine’s story, and I loved her story, I really enjoyed all the secondary characters as well. The chemistry between Jasmine and Sean was so well written. Sean is the bassist in the band and also happens to work at the garage where her car is being repaired. From the get-go he comes across as a jerk, but as he realizes Jasmine really isn’t the person he thought she was and even acknowledges that he hasn’t been in the best frame of mind, their relationship evolves. Every other character in this book has their own things going on and Kelly weaves the story together so it is seemless and well paced. This group of late teen and early twenty year old’s all are learning that you can’t depend on others to make it… all in different ways, and most likely it isn’t going to be easy. Admittedly there were times I felt such anger for her father and where I really sympathized for the way she was raised, and while I wanted to make him the bad guy and shake him while screaming “this is your 17 year old daughter” I can see past all that and it makes it all the more apparent that we can make our own families. They don’t necessarily have to be the people we were born with.
The thing that kept me from giving this a full five stars… I found myself skimming over the heavy descriptions of the guitar/band stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but I don’t know a thing about bands and guitars and so those parts kind of took me out of the story a bit. I tried to understand it but there were some things that I just kind of skimmed over when it got to be too much.
But here… here is one of my favorite passages:
My lips moved along with hers as I whispered every word, my mind giving each one personal meaning. I may not have written the song, but I could add my story to it. Everyone out there could. That was what made music so powerful.
So… the writing was engaging, fresh and the story was realistic and believable with characters that had me invested. If you’re looking for a wonderfully written coming of age story, then this just might be it for you.