Thursday, December 16, 2010

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads):  Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn’t have friends. She has, as she’s often reminded, issues. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on “a touch of Asperger’s.”   Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea’s preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.It’s obvious that Drea can’t hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she’s found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

And here's what I thought:  I'm determined to avoid any spoilers, so this might be a bit short.  What I can say is that this was a really good story.  Drea's an interesting character; because of her "touch of Asperger's," she relates to people a little differently --- but it makes her way of seeing things really unique.  She's not always the most comfortable character, and sometimes, there were parts where my heart ached for her a little.  But I liked her.  She's a bit socially awkward, which brought back memories of my own experiences in high school (not that I have Asperger's, but I was kinda shy, and completely awkward around some people).  Her relationship with Naomi also brought back some personal memories.

Naomi and Justin make interesting foils as characters -- that is, each of them highlights different elements of Drea's own personality.  Naomi's wild, with what seems to be a devil-may-care attitude, completely the opposite of Drea (and why I think Drea might be drawn to her).  Justin, on the other hand, is quiet, and there's more to him than meets the eye -- his quietness is different than Drea's, but the fact that he's a complicated person makes for an intriguing pairing with Drea.   I found Naomi to be frustrating (read the book, and you'll probably agree), and she reminded me of someone I tried to be friends with in high school.  Let's call her Eve.  Eve was daring and vivacious, witty and kind of fun -- and I felt more witty and fun when we hung out together.  However, Eve liked to drink .... and this on occasion led to some not-so-fun adventures.    And that's all I'm going to say --- this book isn't about me.  But elements of the book really resonated with me (funny, considering Drea's focus on music).    

Note: at the very back of the book, the author does make a statement: "I'd like to start off by saying that this book is not about defining Asperger's syndrome (AS) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  It's about one girl's story and experience-which I hope everyone (whether on the autistic spectrum or not) can relate to."   I liked that the main character in this book had "a touch" of Asperger's --- it's nice to read about a realistic character, flaws and all, especially when AS and ADHD are the reality for some teens.

First sentence(s):  "One in thirty-eight.  Bet on a single number in roulette, and those are the odds of winning."

Thoughts on the cover:  At first, I wasn't sure what the cover art had to do with the story, but as I kept reading, it was revealed.  I like how the girl's head is completely thrown back, and her arms are outstretched -- she's completely open.  Simple, but a powerful image.


Anonymous said...

What did you like the most: The story, the writing (sentences and images), the theme?

- Footsie

Jen said...

I think I enjoyed the writing the best, because I felt the author did a good job of presenting a well-thought-out character, and a believable story. Hmmm.... had to think about that question for a minute!

Amber said...

I really want to read this one. I've got to get around to ordering it. Thanks so much for the review!

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