The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe
"For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.
But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How do you know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?"- summary from Amazon
First off, I want to thank Stasia for being so kind to have her publicist send an ARC of this to me back in December. I was talking with April from Good Books and Good Wine about it and how excited I was to read the book, but didn't have an ARC. Stasia immediately emailed me and asked for my address; such a sweetheart, right?!
Anyway, on to the book itself, which was amazing and really makes me want to read her debut, which I have been wanting to read for a while now. I plan on borrowing it from my library soon. I quite enjoyed the music aspect, which I feel is pretty underrepresented in YA literature. It just adds a really cool element to the story and main character; plus, I just love anything artsy, particularly if it involves performance of some sort.
It was also interesting to spotlighting autism and bring an awareness to the reality of taking care of someone with that handicap. Kehoe did a really good job of showing how the autism affects each member of the household differently and how far sometimes you can be willing to go for someone you love, even when things get very bad.
In the summary, there's some emphasis on the love triangle, but that's not really an important element to the overall story. I feel like it's more about Daisy coming to learn more about herself and standing up for what she believes in and wants. Kehoe explores this really well.
Overall, a wonderful contemporary stand-alone written in verse (almost forgot to mention that!) and I cannot wait to read more from Kehoe. Thank goodness I have her debut Audition to read in the meantime while I wait for her next book!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher (thanks to help from Stasia!!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.