Thursday, March 7, 2013

Amplified by Tara Kelly

This is the first book in the Amplified series by Tara Kelly.

When Jasmine told her father that she was taking a year off before starting college, she didn't expect to get kicked out of the house. But that's what her father did so instead of pleading and crying and begging, she packed up her stuff, put it in the car, and started to find a different place to live.

But then her car died. Thankfully, right in front of an auto shop, but she doesn't really have a lot of cash to pay for her car - not when she has to find a new place to live and an opening at a job she can work at to start getting some money.

It didn't help that the jerk who worked at the auto shop - who called himself "Clover" - was rude and kept saying she was a rich girl who could call her daddy.

After that, she looked everywhere for an apartment - some of which wanted a guitarist, which Jasmine just happened to be and that is what she wants to do with her year off before going to college.

The last place she went to check out the apartment was it for her, but there were problems. One, Jasmine is a girl and they want a guy guitarist/roommate. The three guys didn't want any drama. Two, they want a guitarist that has performed live before - Jasmine hasn't done that yet. And three, the bassist is none other than Clover - or better known as Sean.

Jasmine is fighting her way to get this place and this spot in the C-Side band, but she starts leaking lies. Sure, she's live performed before... Not.

When Jasmine gets the spot, she's excited because she finally  has a place and can start making her own life. But then they tell her they have a gig at a local bar in less than a week... Jasmine isn't ready, and it shows during her performance.

Now she is in a bad situation. Will the band kick her out because she lied and obviously can't handle the pressure of being on the stage, or will she be able to get another chance and get over the fear of performing live?

And that's not even getting into the situation she and Sean got themselves in, but it was just so hard to resist Sean's presence and the way he makes Jasmine feel.

What will happen to Jasmine? Read Amplified by Tara Kelly to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I think this could qualify as a New Adult novel, since Jasmine is out of high school, so that's why I labeled it with the New Adult Novel. However, it's not very risque as other New Adult novels that have been recently published, so I still think Young Adults can read this and really like it.

Jasmine is a fighter. After growing up with her father always comparing her to her mother who left when Jasmine was 5 and is now in jail, she has grown a tough skin and always finds a way to fix something, even if it is getting kicked out of her house.

So she fought her way to get the spot with C-Side, even if she lied about certain things. She was good and wanted to be a part of the band because they were good as well.

So I really liked Jasmine because she didn't sit down and bawl her eyes out when things didn't go her way. She made her own way and I really appreciate when characters do that.

While I don't know anything about music, I was able to understand most of what went on through Amplified and even enjoyed reading about Jasmine playing the guitar in front of an audience. She loses herself in the music and I was able to see that while reading about her thoughts when playing. I think Kelly did a great job if she was able to allow me as an non-musician understand what was going on.

And I liked the other band members. Felix was just hilarious, Bryn was annoying, but punctual and the "mother hen", Veta was a hoot and always had  Jasmine's back, and Sean was the quiet but handsome one that kept catching Jasmine's eye.

Another thing I think might attract readers is, yes, there is a romance between Jasmine and Sean, but it doesn't end like you think it will and it's not the main part of the book. The whole point of the book is that Jasmine wants to find a place to fit in and also be able to play her music with a band. She needs a place to stay and a way to support herself to do what she needs to do for her year off of school.

And Kelly did a great job with getting all of that in this novel and making it addictive to read. I thought I wouldn't like it when I started reading and gave myself a limited amount that I needed to read before quitting. Instead, I finished this novel in one sitting!

There is another novel that will be coming out this month, so I will definitely be picking that up to read. I do think that Kelly could have ended it with this novel, but I'm excited to read more about these characters and see what happens to them throughout the next novel!

Anyone who likes music, fighting to do what they want to do, and learning how to get friends and trust others, this is definitely a book for you!

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