Book Review: Amplified by Tara Kelly {Just Contemporary Review}

Today’s Just Contemporary Review {find out about Just Contemporary HERE} is Amplified by Tara Kelly.  I have only somewhat recently discovered my love for YA that is about young musicians, or young music lovers. This one pretty much was totally rockin’!  {LOL}
Amplified by Tara Kelly
Hardcover 304 pgs.
Published October 25, 2011 by Henry Hold
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

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.

 What another great addition to the young adult contemporary genre!  This one is about a girl who leaves home to pursue her career as a rock star.  Only she’s far too clueless about the harshness of the real world and she discovers things are not so easy out there.  However, she finds a brand new group of friends and they help her along the way as she discovers whether being a rock star is really worth it.
This book actually made me cry!  The whole thing with Jasmine and her father was really touching.  I really felt for her and at first I just was really angry at her father, but later I kind of got his side of the story a little.  Just a little though.  But she just feels so alone cause no one ‘gets’ her.  Then she gets accepted into this house to live and play in their band and they kind of tease her and give her a hard time and I know what that’s like, I understand her emotions.  But she forces herself to stick with things and they kind of go up and down and at one point really go downhill {I may have cried then too}.   And while I really felt bad for Jasmine I felt like maybe because she came off so standoffish that there was just a bit of a wall built up to where I couldn’t quite connect all the way with her.  She was suppose to be that way, standoffish, I mean, but it just made things a bit harder for me to feel the connection.  And a lot of that is probably just because we’re so different so I suppose I can’t relate as well.  However it didn’t ruin the story and I still really liked Jasmine so it’s a very minor issue for me.
I liked all the other characters as well.  Veta was larger then life and a very awesome friend.  Sean was hotness and went from being a big jerk to being a really sweet guy.  I love watching that transformation for some reason.  The others didn’t play as big of a role but each one definitely popped off the page for me.   
The book was pretty hard to put down.  Especially in the second half.  Shows start happening, romance comes into play and things are just crazy and I wanted to inhale every second of it.  It seemed like I couldn’t hardly breathe at times because I was so insanely worried about Jasmine messing up.  I was rooting for her so hard to be able to do it, to ignore the mean people, to go into the ‘zone’ and just play sweet sweet music.
This book is more for the more mature YA crowd {and adults, of course} as Jasmine lives with a group of guys who have lots of parties and while there’s really only one drinking scene {no drug use} there’s a bit of language {not much} and a bit of sex talk {no actual sex though}.  Jasmine is 17 and the others are her age and older.   I very highly recommend this one!
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  1. I have really been wanting to read one of Tara Kelly’s books and this one sounds like a great read. I haven’t read much in the way of the young musician/music themed books but I loved Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning so I think this is one that I’ll enjoy, especially since it seems a bit more mature. Thanks for the great review Candace! 😀


  2. Yay! I adored this one too! I’ve recently discovered my love for music-related contemporary YA books as well, I need more of them asap:) I was a nervous wreck while reading them, I had such stage fright on her behalf. Awesome review Candace!

  3. An older teen book that has so many emotional decisions that it made you cry, sign me up!

    I love the sound of this one but I have never heard anything about it so thank you for your amazing review.

    My wish list might start crying soon lol.

  4. I haven’t heard too much about Amplified – I’ve seen it around, but never took much notice. Clearly, that is a problem I need to correct.

    I’m always a little iffy about books focusing on music because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make that connection, but I definitely need to step outside my comfort zones and crack these books open because I can tell I’m missing out on so much. Thanks for the review!

  5. I don’t know if I would’ve stayed with it like Jasmine did! Especially after that one part. I’d have wanted to disappear after that. Veta was such an awesome character for someone who could have come off as really intimidating. After reading this one and Virtuosity, I’m wanting to make time to read more books with a focus on music.

  6. Ahh! I want to read this book SO badly!! Ahh!! :D:D:D I loved Harmonic Feedback and have seriously wanted to read this one for forever! Awesome review! But it’s making me even MORE anxious to read it!! 😛

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