Book Review: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelly Coriell

Published June 26, 2012 by LS Murphy

Synopsis: 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.

The First Line: “I loved being a burrito. Not the actual costume, a stinky ankle-length tube of compressed foam with scratchy shoulder straps.” Great voice that really shows Chloe’s upbeat personality right from the first line. I don’t think I would’ve loved being a burrito in high school. Only a happy-go-lucky person would appreciate something so mundane.

The Good: Chloe Camden likes to make everyone happy. She’s smart, funny, and loved by everyone. When her best friends decide to stop talking to her for no reason that she can figure, she keeps her head up and finds new friends. Since I went through something similar during my sophomore year, I found her easy to relate to. (Although in the essence of full disclosure, I didn’t find new friends as easily as Chloe did.)

Chloe is also refreshing. Instead of characters that are getting beaten down or discovering new abilities, Chloe’s positive attitude is infectious. It’s nice to read a character who enjoys life. Of course, it’s also that positive attitude that causes her problems.

Duncan is the opposite of Chloe in almost every way. It’s nice to see the “hot guy” as a quiet, shy do-gooder instead of a smartass, know-it-all.

The Bad: I wish one of her five brothers would have popped up at one point. That dynamic would’ve been a great addition.

Recommendation: Add it to your MUST READ list. Especially if you’re looking for a YA contemporary that is upbeat and fun to read.

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