Saturday, September 11, 2010

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson + Contest!


Pub date - September 2010.

After living in twelve places in eight years, Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Another new home, another new school . . . Calle knows better than to put down roots. Her song journal keeps her moving to her own soundtrack, bouncing through a world best kept at a distance.

Yet before she knows it, friends creep in - as does an unlikely boy with a secret. Calle is torn over what may be her first chance at love. With all that she's hiding, and all that she wants, can she find something lasting beyond music? And will she ever discover why she and her mother have been running in the first place? (book back blurb)

Immediately I was sucked into Calle's head, her music, her story and her voice. You have this girl forced into a nomadic existence seemingly because her mother's a flake and moves around to start new lives after the old boyfriends ditch her. Even after the whys come to the surface, I can only feel for Calle. Yeah, I get it. Her mother did what she did for her daughter's good. But why keep her in the dark about it? Why force her to follow blindly, without question, just because she's the mother and she knows what's best? You know, I get the whole underage thing but teens aren't stupid and I just loved how Calle planted her feet and bit back against her mother. While her mother was curled up on the floor crying, I was with Calle, rooting her on. She had a right to get angry and I got angry with her.

I just loved the whole realness of this entire novel. There was nothing fantastical about it. No love-at-first-sight. Just reality. Calle liked someone but she tried to keep her distance because, she knew, before long her feet would be walking again. But she couldn't help it. Too many people had taken her in and accepted her this time around. It was going to be harder to let go when she had to. But this boy turned out to come from as screwed up of a family as Calle's and instead of hiding it and pretending to be someone dumber as a means of not having to live it outside of his home, Calle brings about the strength in those around her, including her crush, because of the strength she held in herself. She really is an amazing character.

I was literally in tears at the end. While I felt the scissors swooped in and cut the bad out of the picture a little too smoothly, I didn't care. Finally Calle was going to have some semblance of normalcy and closure. I was so happy for her, but it was a jaded kind of happy. Considering the situation she received it, it just can't be a full-fledged happy.

And I just couldn't help but adore her love for older music (although some of that "older" music was stuff from the 90s, god, carbon date me, why don't you), her fight against the iPod (considering one kid made the news for taking 3 days to figure out how a cassette worked, how many teenagers actually know/how to use a Walkman?) and how stuck in the past she was. It's so psychological. The past is firm, solid. That's where memories are. By holding onto these older songs, Calle was able to grow some semblance of roots, even though it was just in her own mind. They were her sole Gibraltar comfort among the constant chaos of her life. I love seeing these old soul type of teens that really don't care much for the modern.

Read this book if you want something real; if you want it to touch the center of your heart and blossom. If you want to connect to a troubled girl that isn't involved in drugs or anything illicit; if you want to reach out and help someone like this but don't know how. If you just want to read a damn good book.


Want to win a copy? Just fill out the form below for your chance to win. Open to US residents 13 years of age and older only. One entry per person per email address. Contest ends October 2nd at midnight, EST.

5 comments:

Ashley said...

Great contest :D

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Also don't forget to check out my amazing blog design giveaway that ends 9/13!

Ashley's Bookshelf

Mary Brebner said...

So adding this book to my pile! Love books that incorporate music (such a music junkie) and this one sounds great.

Thanks for the awesome review!

Rowena said...

Great review, I've never heard of this book so it was a pleasure to find out about it here and now I'm crossing my eyes, toes and fingers that I'll win your giveaway! Thanks and happy reading!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review! I had never heard of this book but from your review, it sounds really good!

Meredith said...

Great review!

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