A debut novel chronicling the relationship between pretty, popular overachiever Kaylee and her socially awkward, musically talented neighbor, Sam.
When Kaylee Kelly discovers that her longtime neighbor Sam has grown up to be a quite attractive, skilled musician, she convinces him to form a group with her to compete in local talent competitions. Kaylee and Sam have instant chemistry when they play together, which ignites into a fiery romance, but they soon run into obstacles: Kaylee wants Sam to push himself into the spotlight and become a star, while Sam is content to lurk in the shadows—as long as Kaylee knows he’s there. Their differing outlooks on life threaten to destroy the band and their burgeoning relationship. Meanwhile, Kaylee’s controlling mother, who dislikes Sam, keeps trying to set Kaylee up with Jimmie, who appears to be a nice Christian boy but is actually physically abusive. Kane and Wilkerson make all the characters distinctive, yet they tend to fall too easily into stereotypes—the uptight mother, the predatory ex-boyfriend, the snobby music engineer and so on. Kaylee and Sam love each other for who they are, flaws intact, but readers may not be as smitten with Kaylee’s selfish stubbornness and Sam’s dark moods. However, teenagers may find it easy to relate to their youthful passions and problems, and appreciate the name-dropping of trendy bands such as the White Stripes and Silversun Pickups. Some readers will swoon at the passionate romance at the center of the tale; however, although the book may appear to fall into the young-adult category, with its teenage characters and comic-book-style cover art, it’s rife with profanity and highly explicit sexuality that may not be suitable for readers who aren’t yet allowed into R-rated movies.
An inspiring, if uneven, story of teen romance and ambition.