Monday, April 2, 2012

ARC Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell (2/5 stars).

Title: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
Publisher: ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Date to be published: 01 May 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Hardcover: 299 pages
Rating: 2/5 stars

"Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school's struggling radio station, where the other students don't find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams's mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home." 

Many thanks to Net Galley and ABRAMS Books for approving my galley request in exchange for an honest review. 

Chloe is effervescent and is always looking at the bright side of things, but she could be a little too self absorbed and lost in her own little world, often not recognizing the needs of those around her, angering her ex-BF Brie, and with her other ex-BF Mercedes taking sides with Brie, Chloe finds herself alone and lonely. And as if losing your two BFs isn't bad enough, nasty rumors about her start going around and she needs to re-do her junior independent study project because of the new school counselor and her grandma's mental health is making her worry. I think Chloe handled the rumors pretty well, and in the end, it didn't really make Brie any happier (to have started those rumors) which is a good message to teens out there. 

Doesn't Chloe remind you of Becky Bloomwood, the character from the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella with her all her burrito marketing strategies that she comes up with to help save 88.8 The Edge (the school radio station)? I think this plot line (saving the radio station one burrito analogy at a time) is cute and unique, but there were so many other issues dumped on the story such as drug abuse and Chloe's relationship with her grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimer's, that the book isn't delivering on what I expected, which is a fun and light read. Too many conflicts were not resolved satisfactorily, like Chloe-Brie-Mercedes' relationship and who turned out to be the arsonist and why he did what he did. 

Overall, I thought that Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, was okay, getting two stars from me, the dj-ing for the school radio concept was fun and I liked those on-the-air moments, the romance between Chloe and Duncan was sweet and it was well written. 

One last thought..whoever designed this gorgeous cover did an amazing job!

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