Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Amplified by Tara Kelly

Published: Henry Holt & Co (October 25, 2011)
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Series: No
Source: Ginger (thanks, lady!)
GR Summary: 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. . .

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.

My Thoughts: This book's cover pretty much made the decision for me. The synopsis solidified my desperate need to devour this. A female rock goddess wannabe trying to make it? HELLO, PIPER PERABO IN COYOTE UGLY! (Sans the roof rockout, the bar dancing, and the sexy, Jasmine is way more awesome.)

After the first few pages, I wasn't sure what to expect. Amplified kickstarted with some parental angst and Jasmine heading off on her own. I'm so glad she does. Her dad's high-strung and there is NO room for that in a book with fishnets on the cover. Without her departure, we wouldn't be introduced to some of the most vibrant secondary characters in recent memory.

Guys, if it's anything like Tara Kelly depicted, being in a band is HARD. Know what's harder? Sexual tension with your kind-of-douche-bag, standoffish, but irresistible bass guitarist. There are onstage moments between Jasmine and Sean. MOMENTS, I say. And let's not even DISCUSS catty bitches, because they're everywhere. Fists were clenched. I loved the band dynamic, I felt so much of Jasmine's anxiety about the need to establish herself as well as be welcomed and accepted by C-Side.

I am begging all of you music fans who love a tasty little bit of tension (by "little," I mean &0&2@/0/!.!@2&!!!) to read Amplified. It's a quick read that you can easily devour in one sitting. Trust me, it'll be hard to put this bad boy aside.


  1. This sounds so fun!! That you bring up Coyote Ugly makes me even more thrilled! I love the cover, but was hesitant to pick it up because I hadn't heard much. After your review? Definitely on my Wishlist!

    Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. Ahh!! :D:D:D:D I SO want to read this book! Like, oh my goodness, I WANT IT! I LOVED Kelly's debut novel and everything about this one just says- READ ME ASHLEY! :)

    SO glad that you loved it! :)

  3. So happy you enjoyed this one as much as I did :) Sean = Ginger's dream dude. Ahhhhhhh.

  4. Yikes - the "kind-of-douche-bag, standoffish bass guitarist" is irresistible? Then again, I guess everyone goes through a bad boy phase! This cracked me up: "There are onstage moments between Jasmine and Sean. MOMENTS, I say."

    1. He's a pretty complex character who was plagued by a hurtful past, so he definitely redeemed himself. Fictional bad boys, sure. Real life? Not so much. They rarely have redeeming qualities like those we find in books!! :)

    2. AGREED! The complexity is what is appealing here, and great books since Pride & Prejudice have included romances that stem out of "dislike at first sight." Redemption is a beautiful thing.

  5. LOVED Amplified and so happy you did too!

  6. I am always a fan of sexual tension. Not so much the douchebag, but complex characters, absolutely yes.

    And um, the Coyote Ugly mention even though the book probs does not have Coyote Ugly in it? CONVINCED. Yes, I will place a hold on this bad boy. :-D

  7. Hmmm, I might have to pick this one up! Have you read Five Flavors of Dumb? It has some of the same elements - music, great female protagonist, and some adorable MOMENTS between the protagonist and the guy who's crushing on her :)

  8. Loved this book! I'm such a fan of Tara Kelly's books, and I love that she REALLY knows music, and is able to cross mediums and describe the musical experience through her writing. Great review!

    And I definitely need to grab FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB--I've heard amazing things about it.

  9. This book sounds so fun! And irresistible bass guitarist? I'm there!