Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Publisher via EW
Rating: 3 STARS
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.
I don't know what to say about this book or if I have anything to say. It's a different contemporary novel that focuses on a small Southern town and music. And I'm not saying it had terrible writing or plot-line, it just didn't speak to me as much as other books. It was harder for me to relate to the story since I never had to go through anything Amber did. It wasn't as heavy or emotional as I expected it to be.
Amber's life is tough. With everything going on with her family, I'm surprised she held up. I guess music really did help her. I liked seeing Amber being upfront and clear with her feelings on her family and friends. It helped bring her character more into the light. I surprisingly loved her Amber's mom. At first she seemed like a mother who's just too religious (which I guess she is) but she honestly loves her family and will do anything for her them. And with what she has to go through I give props for being the rock of their family. Whitney (Amber' sister) and Sammy's relationship irked me to no end. Sammy is obviously toxic to Whitney and everyone knows that yet she continues to go along with his stupid plans. And Whitney tells her Amber that she loves Sammy and that it's too late to back away even though she obviously can.
Anyways as for Amber's friends...Devon was a cool best friend. It was nice to read a book that didn't overly emphasize that he was gay and how different he was because of that since he really wasn't. C.A (Cheerleader Amber) was also the perfect complement as a Amber's girl best friend and lightened the book with her mood. Will was cute and nice but his entrance to the story was a bit abrupt and it would have been better to have more memories or something that showed Amber and Will from a couple of years ago to get a feel for their relationship was like before. Sean was a cool guy but didn't really serve as much of anything as he could have.
A different contemporary read about a girl who's trying to escape, No Place to Fall albeit my problems with it was an enjoyable read. I would probably only recommend this book to contemporary readers. Happy Readings!