Too many false notes sound in this tale of music, friendship and relationships.
"Trip's out of the band." Those simple words make Charlotte's life very complicated. The manager of the band Sad Jackal as well as their lyricist, Charlotte is the invisible girl among the boys in her life. These include her oldest friend and fellow band member Oliver, new band member (and Charlotte's short-lived crush) Fabian, and the growing-distant Trip—not to mention potential new boyfriend Benji. Charlotte's appeal will be hard for readers to see, too, since her personality is so flat and undefined. It's only when she's pulled into singing with Sad Jackal that she shows some life. After performing at the school Halloween dance, Charlotte stretches her wings by singing with another band and leaving Sad Jackal after an argument with Oliver. Yet Charlotte continues to exist because of the males in her life, whether it's freaking out over the rumor that she's dating Oliver or fighting with her dad over her bad report card.
While Charlotte's musical growth is inspiring, the numerous plot elements and one-note personalities make McVoy's fourth novel less a symphony and more of a garage-band song. (Fiction. 14 & up)