The Sound of Us
by Julie Hammerle
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.
She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.
Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
From the music app on my phone, Ani DiFranco belts out a choice insult just as Brie bursts through my dorm room door, crosses the room, and plops a giant cardboard box on the other bed.
“I guess we’re roommates,” she says. There were a bunch of boxes in the room when I arrived, and I wondered who they belonged to. I suppose that mystery is solved.
I scramble to stop Ani from singing anything else we both might regret later and I look up just in time to see Seth Banks crossing the threshold into my dorm room, carrying another larger, heavier box over to Brie’s side.
“Hi,” he says. “Kiki, right?” He knows my name. Seth Banks somehow knows my name.
I nod, and sneak a glance at the mirror on the wall next to my bed, assessing myself against the two model-caliber people in my dorm room. I’m still wearing the cat dress. My frizzy hair is up in a messy bun, but the effect actually works with my blue-plastic glasses. I look eccentric, but artsy, which may not be the best look of all time but it is, in fact, a look.
(You’re probably wondering who my celebrity twin is. Well, there aren’t a lot of women in pop culture who have my body type, i.e. dumpy. I’m too fat to be thin and too thin to be fat. Head-wise, I have the glasses and mouse-like features of Mary Katherine Gallagher from Saturday Night Live with hair like Hermione before someone gave her hot oil help between the second and third movies.)
Brie cocks an eyebrow at me and tucks her bottom lip under her top teeth as she picks up my backpack and drops it on the ground with a perfunctory thud. I had tossed it onto the blue papa-san chair in the middle of our room after I got back from the auditions. “That’s my chair,” she says. “My. Chair.” And then she proceeds to place a six-pack of Diet Coke into the fridge—My. Fridge.—because apparently that’s how fairness works.
It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I really liked this one!
Ms Hammerle’s writing style was a lot of fun to read–there were quite a few LOL moments, and I read more than a few of them out loud to Mini Moe #2 (whether she wanted me to or not–and she at least smiled at almost all of them, a good sign). Each chapter started with a tweet, which was entertaining, and Kiki’s total nerdom was endearing. Who can’t identify with someone who totally geeks out over a favorite tv show and celebrity?
It just about broke my heart that she was so determined to get the opera singing scholarship when she was sooo not suited for the profession, though. I guess I can understand why she was so focused on it, but man, did it take her forever to figure out what she really should be doing! Trying to figure out the rest of your life is hard for anyone, but to try to do it when you’re a teen (as our culture expects you to do)? Crazy. I’m glad I’m not back there anymore. But I digress…
I really identified with Kiki’s on-again-off-again-what do we have here anyway? relationship with Jack. I was in that relationship myself, when I was just a few years older. Unfortunately (well, probably fortunately, actually) mine didn’t have the same ending (or is it? I’m really hoping that this isn’t the last we see of Kiki and Jack!)
Come to think of it, if you take away the whole singing/songwriting/music theory genius aspect of Kiki’s life, we could have been separated at birth. Hmmm. Probably has a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book.
I’m definitely looking forward to more from this author, even if she doesn’t give us more Kiki.
Though I really hope she does. 🙂
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen in the summer of 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.
Dubsmash Contest Grand Prize:
- A paperback copy of The Sound of Us by debut author Julie Hammerle
- A box of Nutty Bars, which are prominently featured in the novel
- A DVD of High School Musical, so you can watch the movie repeatedly to perfect your dubsmash abilities
How to enter the Dubsmash Contest? Create a dubsmash video on the Dubsmash app, the Musical.ly app, or upload it to your YouTube Channel of any song from Camp Rock, High School Musical, or Pitch Perfect.
Email in your video to firstname.lastname@example.org between May 30, 2016 and June 29, 2016 @ 11: 59 pm EDT for the first, mandatory entry into the contest, and then add one of several other ways to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below to increase your odds of winning! While we welcome all videos, only US residents are able to win the Grand Prize.
Full Contest Details: http://www.entangledteen.com/dubsmash-your-heart-out-to-win-the-sound-of-us-prize-pack/