May 3, 2012

Book Review: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

At First Sight: Chloe Camden is a happy, big hearted girl with just about everything she could ever ask for: a great family (made of 2 loving parents, 5 older brothers who adore her, and an awesome grandma), two best friends, an awesome vintage shoe collection and a job she likes (even though it does require her dressing like a burrito). 

But everything changes after Winter Break of her Junior year, suddenly her best friends aren't talking to her - one of them is, in fact, spreading nasty rummors about Chloe - and she has become a social pariah, she also has to deal with the on-going war between her Mom and Grandmother as Parkinson's desease slowly starts to take over her beloved Grandmother's life. 

To top it all off, her new guidance counselor axed her independent study project which is forcing her to work with the kids of the High School's radio station. 

There, Chloe makes use of her wide arsenal of promotional tricks -leaned while working at Dos Hermanas, a mexican cantina she loves - to try to get more listeners, even if the general manager Clementine seems to dislike her. Chloe, however, does find a quiet ally in Duncan Moore the fix-all/chief engineer of the station. 

Eventually, Chloe finds herself as the start of her own talk-show show, discovering that, as good as she is at talking, she also needs to listen.

Second Glance: What a surprisingly fun book Welcome Caller, This is Chloe turned out to be. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started but I quickly grew to like Chloe, even if she was a bit too cheerful sometimes, she's a nice person and she understand people and human nature. 

I loved how close she was to her Grandmother and that, while her family life wasn't picture perfect, they did love each other - I wished there had been more about Chloe's five older brothers other than they are all doctors or doctors-in-training.

That was, I think, my biggest issue with the book: that I wished the characters were more evenly developed. Chloe, her grandma and Duncan were more developed than the rest, and in fact some of the other characters were more like mentioned than anything else. 

Other than that, it was a fun book. I loved the whole radio/talkshow thing and how nice Chloe was. Also love the depiction of the Mexican restaurant where Chloe worked and that she was okay being a burrito and her love of shoes. Also loved how she describes people - like Clem is a dragon, and her counselor is like a cat.

I didn't like her former friends, they were on the mean side, even if it was true that Chloe wasn't always the best of friends (like everyone, she sometimes got wrapped up in her own drama or happiness, but not in a mean way), I thought Brie and Merce blew things way out of proportion.

But I liked where the book went over all.

Bottom Line: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is a fun book to read, that also touches over more complicated topics but Chloe's voice carries you through it all in a touching way without ever getting too heavy. 
starstarstarstarPersonal Favorite
Alex


To learn more about Chloe’s high school radio world and win a $50 electronic/radio store gift certificate or one of ten CHLOE swag packs, go to Shelley Coriell’s website, www.shelleycoriell.com/blog/. Good luck to all!

For further stops in this Blog Tour, please visit The Teen {Book} Scene

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