Amplified by Tara Kelly
"When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . ."- summary from Amazon
This book was a godsend. I had had to put down a did-not-finish book (I won't mention it here but you can probably find it on my Goodreads profile) and was in a bad place, reading-wise. I had no idea what to read next but I have a schedule and now my blog was down one book. I chose between three books and while I probably would've enjoyed the other two, Amplified was simply perfect. I adored Kelly's debut Harmonic Feedback and was really excited to read this book, though I can't believe I put it off for so long!
It's a compelling contemporary read and Kelly does a fantastic job drawing the reader in and making the characters real so the reader gets invested in them. Jasmine is a great main character and I loved reading her story and understanding her passion for music. The prose, especially when Kelly writes the band rehearsal scenes, is poetic almost at times and has such a natural rhythm that I'd be surprised that I'd read 75 pages in a short amount of time.
The budding romance between Jasmine and Sean was really sweet to read about. They have a natural chemistry and I can see them as a couple. They each have their own issues to work through, some that take longer than others, and it felt like a realistic courtship, as it were. A character I also really enjoyed was Veta, the lead singer of C-Side, because she was just out there and funny and also extremely loyal. I'd love to have her as a friend. I also liked Jasmine's gay friend James (I really hope that's his name; too lazy to check) though we didn't see too much of him. Hopefully if there's a sequel (the ending is a bit open-ended, but it's done in the right way), we can see more of him once he's back from his trip.
Overall, I simply loved this book and I can't say enough good things about it. Please please please go buy a copy if you're at all into contemporary or even books about music, no matter the genre. You won't be disappointed.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.