*book jacket photo courtesy of Goodreads*
Title: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriel
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Imprint: Amulet Books
Format: NetGalley Digital Galley
Release Date: 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, so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her BFs and struggling with her beloved Gram’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 (Summary via NetGalley).
I adore Chloe Camden! She is loud, brash, tells jokes, loves shoes, wears her heart on her sleeve, and never stops talking. Chloe is precariously balancing everything in her life and you just know that eventually it will crumble. She really cares about the people around her—her parents, her friends, her fellow students at the radio station (even though they don’t really like her), her former best friends, and especially her Grams. Chloe desperately tries to keep all the people in her world happy, and that doesn’t always work out.
In a nutshell, I am in love with this book. It is probably one of the best YA realistic fiction books of the year, right alongside Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt and it’s entertaining. Coriel manages to create characters the reader can really care about, not to mention one character I found incredibly vile and I couldn’t stand. But a good writer creates characters we love or we hate, and Coriel does manage to do that. Chloe is an obviously dynamic character that changes as the book progresses. In fact, most of the characters grow and change as the book progresses. Character-driven books are among my favorites, and Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe is definitely that. This book gives the reader an opportunity to laugh, to cry and to just enjoy reading. What a joy it is to read a book that makes you appreciate reading.
I will be recommending Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe to everyone. I will be putting it on my favorite books of 2012 as well. It is so good; it just needs to be read, by as many people as possible. Add this book to your to-be-read pile, no matter how big it is.