I had no intention of liking this book. The cover didn’t grab me and the jacket made me think this was going to be an “issues” book. It’s one of my required readings for the GSTBA ballot and I actually tried to pawn it off on someone else! But I picked it up and started reading and discovered that it’s ok to be wrong sometimes because this was one great book.
Sixteen-year-old Drea has bounced around from place to place, home to home, while her mother chased boyfriends who never seemed to stick around for very long. They finally end up at her grandmother’s house in Washington. There, Drea meets Naomi and Justin, two people who love music as much as she does. But after being diagnosed with ADHD and what her mother deems “a touch of Asperger’s”, Drea has a hard time believing that anyone could simply like her for her. Why does being “normal” have to be so hard?
Drea’s story isn’t necessarily new or even told in a groundbreaking way. We’ve read tons of books about people who have a hard time fitting in. What makes it special is how nuanced it is. How rich the characters are. Take Drea’s mom. She’s man-crazy. She’s had boyfriend after boyfriend. Yet, she’s not your one-dimensional selfish, neglectful mother. She has faults, but she also loves Drea like crazy. She comforts Drea. She’s doing the best she can to take care of her. And you reallyfeelthat. And that is what makes the difference.
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Young Adult | 278 pages | Henry Holt & Co. | May 2010 | 080509010X | Library copy