Tuesday, June 8, 2010


One of the things I hate most about YA is books that TRY to be authentically teen but come across forced and fake.  The kind where all the teens sound 25.  It's pretty rare, in my opinion, to get a book that feels real and raw and totally authentic.  And I had the pleasure of reading one such book.  Tara Kelly's HARMONIC FEEDBACK blew me away.

It's the story of Drea, a girl with ADHD who might be on the autistic spectrum, who has just moved to a new town with her mother.  Anyone who's ever had to start a new school knows how tough that it, but it's doubly tough for Drea, especially when she speaks her mind and doesn't play the usual games people play.  As she's prepared to go another year without any real friends, her world changes.  Enter purple-haired siren, Naomi, a girl who dances in the rain and lives on the edge.  Drea is shocked when Naomi wants to be her friend, and even more shocked when new guy Justin does too.

This story is heartbreaking and funny and magical.  Tara's writing is so painfully authentic that I hurt when Drea hurt.  Awesome musical references are peppered throughout without being overbearing.  Drea and friends have great taste in music, and that adds another layer to the story.

Crap, I suck at writing reviews.  The truth is that Tara's written one hell of a book here. The autism isn't the focus, but it's important because it shows us who we can be without all the pretty white lies and facades.  I dare you not to be just a little in love with Drea when you're done with this.  I think this is a book that teens will really relate to.

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