Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

from goodreads

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.

cover

I love the cover! It's bright and colourful and very Chloe!

review

"People need best friends." I waved my arms in the air. "Like oxygen. Without friends I'd die. I'd be all alone."

A lot can change over one summer. Chloe finds this out the hard way as she skips across the road, dressed up as a burrito for her job at Dos Hermanas while wearing vintage shoes to meet her friend Brie and Brie startles her with harsh words and a quit exit. When the school year begins, Chloe's shocked to discover her BFs, Brie and Mercedes, don't want her anywhere near them. They find her self centered and their issues with her obviously built up over the summer. Brie has even started to spread rumours about Chloe. Add her new counselor Ms. A. Lungren making her change her Junior Independent Study Project (JISP) to the mix and her mother and grandmother being at war for most of the year and happy-go-lucky Chloe is confused and well, not-so-happy.

Let me start by saying that Chloe's probably someone you'd either love or hate and it was full on love for me! She was cheerful and sweet and there was no doubt that she had a big heart! Her obsession with vintage shoes was cute and I loved how she doted on her Brad-Pitt-loving grandmother. But at the heart of it all, she was also a very mature person and this, I did not expect. Despite Brie's attempts to spread rumours about Chloe and impersonate her online, Chloe surprisingly took these things in her stride. She did not attempt to retaliate even once. She seemed beyond payback or revenge!

But Chloe's not perfect. And I liked that too. She had this compulsive need for everyone to like her and there was some truth to her BFs label of her as self centered. Which probably accounts for her need to talk all the time and how she feels personally responsible for other people's problems as well.

Over the course of the book, Chloe ends up having to work at the school-run radio station and hosts a radio talk-show. She meets a bunch of people who aren't very Chloe-crazy and gets to know them better. She bonds with Duncan, a boy at the station who is in desperate need of cheer and fun. Chloe learns to listen and not to chase away solitude all the time. 

This book was very Chloe-centric. (Which I guess, I should've expected!) It makes sense as the story is told from Chloe's perspective which is probably why there were these really unique and memorable characters like Clem, Hayley, Ms. Lungren and even Mercedes who I would've loved knowing even more about but we only get little peeks into their lives. Still, I loved what I got to know about these characters. Even Brie, the former best friend who gives Chloe hell, seems justified for hating Chloe in her own way. 

Just like Chloe herself, Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is every bit of the cutesy and charming debut it seems to be but also, surprisingly, deals with heavier issues -like drug addiction and Parkinson's- as well. Chloe's grandmother has Parkinson's and the toll it takes on Chloe and her family who struggle to come to terms with it is portrayed well. It's also not very easy to deal with your best friends suddenly hating you. It would make me question the core of myself and even after Chloe makes peace with them, it's obvious that they've outgrown each other. It was a simple yet heart wrenching premise.

Filled with personality, cute shoes, fun and surprises, Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is about a boy in need of laughter, a "princess in skates" who realises that not everybody loves her all the time, a radio station and the coolest grandmother ever. I loved meeting Chloe and I hope you do too!

Publication date: 1st May, 2012
Publisher: ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

9 comments:

  1. This looks like a really cute book! I hope I like Chloe as much as you did !
    Awesome review, Pooja ! :D

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  2. I really want to give you a big HUG right now, Ajoop! Thank you for being so awesome and loving this book too! I agree, you can either hate or love Chloe. Thankfully we both fall into the latter part! :)

    Brie really gets on my nerves sometimes - how come an ex-bestfriend can be that mean?? Revenge never even seem to cross Chloe's mind, and I love her for her positive attitude! Meeting Chloe was such a great experience! :)


    Absolutely fantastic review, Ajoop! <3

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  3. I just saw this book when I put together FF. I was curious about it. Dressed up as a burrito? Funny. Chloe sounds like a complex character, very real. I like that. I am sure I will like her as well. Thanks for the brilliant review :)

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  4. I love that you love that Chloe isn't perfect, and I love that you love this book!! <3 For some reason, even though they're usually pretty predictable, I can't help but adore books that revolve around summer because they're usually some of the sweetest stories you'll ever read! And this one sounds especially adorable with Chloe being complex, the side characters being fun to read about, and a surprising depth surfacing on top! I HEART IT ALREADY! <3

    Super-duper smile-inducing and amazing review, Ajoop! I can't wait to read this!! :)

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  5. Ooh, I need to read this book for review! It sounds so adorable! I'm not sure whether I'll like Chloe or not. Sometimes, I feel extremely overwhelmed by up beat characters, haha. But hopefully, I'll like this cute book as much as you did, Ajoop! Wonderful review! :)

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  6. Stumbled upon your blog...fun post!

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  7. I've been hearing about this book a lot but never got the chance to read it! It actually sounds cute and fun! I might actually need to add this to my TBR and hopefully get the chance to read it soon.

    Awesome review, Ajoop! <3 So glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Great Review! This book looks so cute! especially with that cover. Your review just made me want to read it even more!

    your newest follower,
    Kristin
    youngadultbookhaven.blogspot.com

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  9. @Nick It is super cute! Hope you like Chloe as much as I did :)

    @Hilda It's so great that I liked Chloe as much as you did! <33 I felt that Brie was a little sad. I mean, the jealousy and anger towards Chloe for having it so easy, at least on the outside, must've been brewing for quite a while. But I cannot believe she tried to full-out ruin Chloe's life, considering that they were once super tight!

    @Heidi I hope you like Chloe as much as I did! She is a very cute yet complex character :)

    @Mimi Aww, Mimi, I love that you loved that I loved this book <33 I cannot wait for you to read it! I hope you do! I hope you'll like Chloe as much as I did and I can't wait to read your review :D

    @Sophia Haha, yeah, you can either love or hate her. I hope you do check it out! It's such a cute book :)

    @Josie Thanks for stopping by, Josie! :)

    @Celine YAY. Hope you do check it out, Celine! It's an amazingly cute book! :)

    @Kristin It's a super cute book! I loved the cover too! I hope you read it :) Thanks for following, Kristin <3

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HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)