Saturday, June 23, 2012

Girl Out Loud by Emily Gale (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Drama, 
Publication.Date  June 1st 2012
Published By:  Scholastic
WebsiteEmily Gale

Girl Out Loud - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

*Silent Scream!*

Kass Kennedy is nobody's idol. She does forget the lyrics. She's not a gleek. The x factor? Not her! Read her lips: She has the right to remain silent.

Just try telling that to her dad.

Because he's totally lost it this time, demanding Kass audition for a TV talent show. Which would be slightly less than death-by-embarrassment if Kass could (duh!) actually sing. And if even the smallest part of her craved the spotlight. Stardom is her dad's dream, not hers. But he's so fragile, she's afraid he just might crack if she doesn't go through with his latest, craziest plan.

Not helping: Her hopelessly MIA mom. The budding criminal mastermind also known as her kid brother. And amateur shrink Izzy and used-to-be-sweet Char, who've gone all frenemies over a boy in brown boots. (Don't ask.)

It's only rock n' roll? If only! Inside, Kass is screaming, but no one is listening. How loud does a girl have to shout to be heard?(Goodreads)

Who wants to be... a million miles away? I do
Sunday mornings should be sacred. I don't mean religious. I mean that I should be able to walk downstairs wearing an old, stained hoodie and track pants and with mascara smudged under my eyes without running into a pervy thirteen-year-old who looks at me as if I'm Chloe Moretz at a premiere.

     If you enjoy books full of hilarious inner monologues, sparkly dialogues, family drama, and emotional intensity, Girl Out Loud is THE book for you. Frankly, I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed it, and ended up kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. It's a fiercely entertaining, clever pop-culture infused story that will have you hooked from the very first page thanks to its extreme readability and freshness. A heart-felt, moving, and thought-provoking look at one family's experience with mental illness, and an original, amusing coming-of-age tale

     The story follows Kassidy, a teenage girl who plays a pretend game show in her head whenever real life gets too boring, or too tragic. At first glance, her family doesn't strike you as extraordinary. Quite the opposite, they seem rather normal and, well, boring. A typical family that spends every Saturday night eating a reheated pizza while sitting at the kitchen table. Not particularly exciting, right? That's exactly what Kassidy thought, too, until her dad decided that she should - and would - audition for The X-Factor talent show. The only problem is Kass doesn't actually have any talent. She's a talent-free zone, especially when it comes to singing. But there's no arguing with her father, whatever he decides goes, and no amount of pleading, convincing, or plain old arguing could possibly change his mind. Kass, however doesn't want to be a star, she's perfectly content with being ordinary, and she's determined to find a way out of this potentially catastrophic situation. 

     Emily Gale told the story of Kassidy and her dysfunctional family with incredible emotional intensity and sensitivity. And I can't say that I was prepared for that. Judging by the cover (yes, I know, I know, what can I do?) I was expecting a light, funny read with some typical teenage girl-meets-boy drama and whole lot of cheesy. I mean, come on, it's a book about a girl auditioning for The X-Factor TV-show - how meaningful and life-alternating can it possibly be? Well, surprise, surprise! It is VERY meaningful and it definitely has the potential to change someone's life. Especially, if you're a teenage girl/boy forced by one (or both) of your parents to be someone you're not, you're trying to find your own voice and express yourself, or if one of your family members is suffering from some sort of mental disorder. This book can actually help you. And even if you're not particularly interested in its educational/therapeutic qualities, it's definitely a book that you will want to pick up, if nothing else, just for the sheer fun of reading it!

     Through prose that is both energetic and rich in detail, Emily Gate explores a vast range of issues, from dealing with mentally ill family member to self-discovery and self-assertion to typical teenage problems, such as fall-outs with friends over a cute boy, dealing with mischievous younger brother, and desperately trying to avoid being humiliated in front of thousands of people. I was especially impressed with the author's ability to capture the profound effect of mental illness on the family's dynamics, while keeping the overall tone of the book light. This book deals with some serious issues, but it's not a dark or depressing read. It does get slightly darker at times, especially when Kass re-lives some of her painful memories, but overall you're more likely to laugh out loud than get disturbed

     As much as I loved getting to know Kassidy and following her adventures, I wasn't very fond of Cass (the main love interest) and Kass' two best friends, Izzy and Char. I got especially annoyed by Char's downright childish behaviour and had a hard time figuring out why Kass ever bothered being nice to her. Cass didn't impress me at all, either, but I won't tell you why - that's something you're going to have to find out for yourself. That's not to say that this affected my enjoyment of the book in a negative way. To me this book was about Kass, her internal struggles and personal growth. She started off as a weak, easily-influenced, gilt-ridden character, and it was really interesting to see her morph into a strong, assertive, brave young girl who could finally stand up for herself and quit being everyone's pushover. 

     Overall, Girl Out Loud has a lot to offer and it's well worth reading. Emily Gale is a promising new talent and I'm very excited to see what else she has in store for us!

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Penny Freeman said...

Hi, Evie. I love this review and very much want to read this book because of it. I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks for posting on Book Blogs.

Randi M said...

Great review! I like that mix of heavier issues and humor in my reading. This sounds like a valuable read. Thanks for sharing! :)

Amy said...

Fantastic review as always. It's too bad that a few of the characters bothered you, but at least you still enjoyed the book. I think it sounds really great!!

Rebecca said...

I haven't heard much about this book so thanks for the great yet honest review. I might just have to pick this one up!

Kaci Verdun said...

I haven't heard of this author or book, but the review sounds like it would be a cute, upbeat YA and i'd love to read it!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very cute read. I love books about characters grow emotionally and morally and Kassidy seems exactly that. Also, it's great that the book deals with serious issues and learning from books is always great.
You write the most beautiful reviews, I've ever come across. They are straight to the point and very thorough ! :)
I'm going to be checking this book out.

Na said...

There is so much going on in this story but one thing that really comes across is that it's an entertaining read. It has a nice balance between the serious and the laugh out loud moments.

Book Blogger Mom said...

Such a great review of the book. I haven't heard of it before but it sounds like a good story.

My blog -

Veronika said...

How that I haven't heard about this book before? :OO I need to pick it up right now! It sounds like a wonderful story!

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