Amplified - Tara Kelly Thrown into such life-challenging situations, the reader can witness for themselves how irrevocably engaging Kelly's writing soon comes to be. She takes being an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent to a whole new level. That's how I came to love Jasmine's realistic view of the obstacles taking over her life and debating which path she should--and wants--to take. She ultimately had the perseverance to work out the inner demons stopping her from going full-out on her dream of being a rock star. Not once did I hate any of the characters in Amplified, at most I was just mildly annoyed with a few. As a supporting role, Veta was eccentric and sometimes dramatic but totally trusting, and as a love interest, Sean had the baggage and barbell but unexpectedly dependable when he wanted to be.

It was easy to see how Kelly's writing portrayed Jasmine as such a captivating character because of her obvious vulnerability, from the history with her father to being left to her own devices in an unfamiliar situation. Jasmine encounters grueling life decisions at the brink of adulthood when most of the population would still categorize her as a child. Shining a light on her weaknesses, Kelly was easily able to pinpoint them as attributes that eventually manifest themselves to progress the story. The music and her love of playing the guitar gave support to all her choices and mistakes, coinciding to become the basis of her life. Dealing with a whole new scene, this contemporary read rocked hard.

Grade: A-

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