Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Welcome, Caller, This Is ChloeBig-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.

I waited anticipating this novel like no other. I saw it on Goodreads a few months before it came out and immediately pined for it. I was finally able to track down a copy at the library 7 months after the books release, and I ended up reading it in a day. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe is a lovely book. I was expecting a nice, fluffy-yet-good book that would satisfy my never ending need to read YA books about radio shows/music. This book was light, but still dealt with serious issues.

Chloe was an awesome character. People were annoyed with her because of her popularity and self-obsession. However, readers see the other side of Chloe that other characters are missing. We see her family life, and the problems that revolve around it. And we get to know a different side of Chloe. I admit, she still annoyed me at times, but ultimately I loved her. Duncan was adorable. I just wanted to go into the story and give him a hug. He’s quiet, shy and kind. His story is one of the things that makes Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe more serious than I thought it would be. Duncan is an ace character, though. He was one of the best, cutest boy characters that I had read in awhile.

Shelley Coriell is a fantastic debut writer. Her first novel was addicting, emotionally touching and brilliantly written. I can’t wait to see what she has coming out next.

Friday, February 1, 2013

An Interview with Liz Fichera

Today I have an interview with Liz Fichera. Liz is the writer of the awesome novel, Hooked which was released by HarlequinTeen this week. Here’s the interview-

1. Did you purposely give the main character of Hooked the nickname Fred? If so, why?

I knew that the heroine in HOOKED would never be a Tiffany or Madison or some other contemporary trendier name.   I wanted her to have a classic, strong name and one that would have an appropriate nickname.  When I spotted the name Fredricka, I knew I found my Fred. J  In my head, she is completely and totally a Fred and I could see her trying to distance herself from her full first name.  It was perfect.

2. Describe Hooked in six words or less.

Worlds collide.

3. What would the playlist for Hooked look like?

It’s pretty eclectic:

The Proclaimers – Whole Wide World

Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me

Jerrod Niemann – Lover, Lover

Gloriana – Kissed You

Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me

Sóley – Smashed Birds

4. What would you like readers to take away from reading your novel?

First and foremost, it’s a story.  I hope readers would want to get lost inside the lives of Fred and Ryan for a little while and perhaps see pieces of themselves in each of them.  While I didn’t set out to write a book with big themes, it just worked out that way.  I hope readers finish it and realize that it’s important to dream big dreams, especially when your life stretches in front of you as it does for all teens.  Don’t let anyone stand in the way of achieving your dreams, even yourself.

5. Is there anything you can tell us about the companion to Hooked, Played?
PLAYED is all about Sam and Riley’s story, with brief appearances from Fred and Ryan.  Sam and Riley are two secondary characters in PLAYED and I really have a soft spot for both of them.  They are opposites, much like Fred and Ryan, but their motivations and desires are somewhat different.  Sam is also the kind of guy I could have totally crushed on in high school so writing his story for PLAYED was so much fun.  He never in a million years expected to get mixed up with a girl like Riley but he gets his chance in PLAYED.  And it’s not all smooth sailing.