Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Welcome, Caller, This is Chole

Welcome Caller, This is Chole by Shelley Corriell
Release: May 1, 2012

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.

- - -

Oh, Chole...

When I got this ARC in the mail, I had a vauge idea of what to expect. A pretty fun, quick, contemporay YA novel. I was right, but Welcome, Caller is so much more than that.

Bascially, the novel's about a girl named Chole. After a fall-out with her two BFFs, she's left alone and confused. She's used to being the center of attention and this change is well...unsettling. One thing leads to another and Chole ends up in her high school's Radio Broadcasting team. She's there to help "promote" their radio station as a part of a required school project. What happens next is really for you guys to find out. I can't give much more without spending another three paragraphs detailing the following events...

But I will say this about Welcome, Caller: it is a book that you'll either HATE or LOVE. I was more on the "love" side, to be honest, and I will explain my reasons why:

First, there's Chloe. Others say she's annoying--and yeah, she REALLY is pretty out there. She's loud, obnoxious, and in your face. Definitely not your typical protagonist. She gave me a few laughs, and I was able to continue the story, unsure if I would like book overall. Chloe is interisting, but it's easy to see why others are put-out by her behavior. A lot of the time she's really an enthusiastic know-it-all. Underneath that superficial layer, though, lies a girl who truly wants to love and belong. In that aspect, it makes her very relatable.

Duncan is also a pretty aweomse guy--fun, easy-going, but with living a far-from charmed life.

I also enjoyed the heart of the book and the times I've laughed at Chloe and her larger-than-life personality. Welcome, Caller also doesn't fail to shy away from tough topics (i.e. elderly "decline" and drug addiction). I also enjoyed what Corriell had to say about the importance of listening and being true to oneself. It's something I think any young adult reader can take to heart.

The biggest gripe I had with this book, though (and hence my slightly lower rating) is the overuse of slang. And not just slang, but the WRONG slang. BF=boyfriend not best friend. At least, that's how I've always known it. But I digress. It was a minor issue that I was able to look past because I was sucked in by the story and the characters. I also had issues with how quickly things were resolved in the end and how little some of the secondary characters (i.e. Haley) were developed. This book could have benefited from about 30/40 more pages, but that's really not my decision to make.

A word of caution to readers before beginning this book: Chole is not a character everyone will immediately like. I found her funny, but unappealing at first. Stick with it, though, and you just might find a rather enduring character.

**ARC provided by author (won via giveaway)**


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