Review by Katie
May 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon + Good Reads
"Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:
1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.
Things that actually happen:
1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.
Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy."
When I think summer read, I think of this book. This book takes place in the summer with Kiri's adventures that all begin with the mysterious call about a guy that has her sister's stuff. When she goes to pick up the stuff, she discovers a secret about her sister's death and it changes her in ways that she can't always control. She begins to learn who she is and she falls in love in the process.
I loved Kiri and her free spirit. She was wild as the title suggests, but I really enjoyed reading about it. There were some points in the story that I was shaking my head at her decisions (mostly those that seemed to be the same decisions her sister made that got her into trouble) and I was worried that the story would take a turn for the worst, but I began to accept her decisions as I learned more about her. I don't know if it's because I'm older and a mother, but I felt that the decisions she was making needed to be made in order for her to make bigger decisions and have the experience to move forward - more of a "you live, you learn" type of attitude. This book was exactly that, a "you live, you learn" type of book.
I really enjoyed the romance in this book. It was pure, passionate, honest. Kiri and Skunk accepted each other for who they were and there weren't any secrets, I loved the beauty of this type of relationship. They fit together so well- two broken people that help each other put the pieces back together. I would read another book about these two!
I really enjoyed the music in this book. I loved that Kiri was a piano player and in a band with a synthesizer. I loved that most of the characters in this book played music. It was really cool that there was a variety of music rather than just the band music that Kiri and Lukas play. It's been awhile since I read a book with such a huge musical presence and this book did good.
I am really glad I read this book when I did. It was the perfect summer read and I loved the uniqueness of the story and characters. I found myself having a crazy adventure through Kiri's antics that I didn't want to end. I was living and learning through Kiri and having fun doing it. This book was fun to read, it was entertaining, it was wild, it was crazy, and above all this book came alive for me and left me wanting more.
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