Industrial rock has questionable fans. Or at least it does in the fictional world of Jasmine Kiss. That may have been my biggest take-away from finishing “Amplified” by Tara Kelly, our latest Rock Novel Reading Club pick.
More than anything else, I found myself disappointed with the music fans in this book. They boo and yell and make a girl who is terrified of being on stage feel even more terrified. They’re generally uncool. I kept wondering, “Is this really how industrial rock fans are?” If so, it makes me happy I mostly live in my little pop/rock world.
But that is such a tiny takeaway from this RNRC pick. Here’s a refresher on the book, if you need it:
About “Amplified” by Tara Kelly
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.
Overall, I really enjoyed Jasmine’s story of chasing her dream to be in a band. I also appreciated how, despite being a little introverted in the music world, she could stand up to her own father and tell him music was what she wanted to do with her life. And even though this book contained a between-band-members romance, I liked that it wasn’t the full focus of the story – that always stayed on Jasmine and whether she could hack it as a performing guitarist.
The other thing I really liked about this book? It felt genuine. It felt like it was written by a music fan, for music fans. It was by someone who clearly lives in the music world and knows what it’s like to be in a band, live through painful band practices and play a show in the most miserable hole-in-the-wall venues in the world.
Which, to my delight, I discovered it is. When I chose Tara Kelly’s novel, I knew she had a background in playing music in addition to her writing. What I didn’t know was how committed she was to making her book great. One spin through the Amplified website shows that – bios on band members, a book playlist and a cute guitar-centric design to boot!
Plus, rumor has it there’s a sequel in the works that follows C-Side on tour. I’d take that to the beach and read it!
What did you think of “Amplified”?
Some of you may have finished this book nearly a year ago, but I’d love for you to weigh in and share your thoughts. Did you find Jasmine’s story believable? How big of a jerk was Bryn for kicking her out of the band after one show? And thoughts on the character’s musical tastes – did it help you discover a new band? (Or maybe, like me, get you to listen to a ton of bands you never would have otherwise?)
Share your thoughts in the comments! You can also check out Katie’s review, a RNRCer and Good Groupie reader.
Pick the next Rock Novel!
Okay, good groupies – I’m turning the reins over to you! Help pick our next rock novel for our reading club.
I’ve lined up three choices for you from my monstrous list of rock novels. Head to the Rock Novel Reading Club form to read the book descriptions and choose which book you want to read next.
You have through Sunday, May 10 at 11:59 p.m. CST to vote! The next book will be announced on Wednesday, May 13 right here on the blog. Happy voting!
Until next time,