Publisher: Amulet Books
Release date: May 1st 2012
Hardcover, 299 pages.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Reviewed by: Jen
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.
One of the reasons I love writing for Daisy Chain Book Reviews is that Leanna does an excellent job of sending me a variety of awesome books to review. Some of these books I would never have picked up on my own. That would have been the case with Shelly Coriell’s Welcome Caller, This is Chloe if Leanna had not sent me a copy for review. Yet Chloe is now my most favorite book of the year. I absolutely loved this story!!
Seventeen- year old Chloe Camden firmly believes that you can survive anything as long as you have your best friends at your side, and as winter break winds down she cannot wait to be reunited with hers. Unfortunately, Chloe’s two BFF’s, Mercedes and Bree, don’t quite feel that way about her. They have shut Chloe out of their lives and refused to give her a reason why. What’s worse is that Bree embarks on a campaign to ensure that the entire school despises Chloe as much as she now does. To make matters even worse Chloe is assigned to work at the fledgling school radio station with a group of “outsiders” she never would have even looked at, let alone talked to. Yet, without her “BFF’s” at her side telling her how to think and feel Chloe realizes that this group of misfits might be a better match for her after all.
I loved Chloe. Her spunky personality, mixed with a not so perfect home-life, made me care about what happened to her. She is witty and fun and truly cares about the people around her, although at times can become too absorbed in her own drama to notice that others are hurting too. The journey she takes after her friends’ abandon her help Chloe realize that you can’t fix every problem with a joke and sometimes listening is more important than talking. Soon Chloe realizes that there is more to people than what you see on the outside and that she was often too judge-mental and harsh only because she was following Bree’s lead.
While the overall tone of Chloe is light-hearted and fun the story does have its darker moments. Chloe is devastated as she watches her beloved Grams lose her freedom due to her worsening health. Bree’s campaign of hate towards Chloe appears to be the precursor to a complete mental breakdown and Duncan, the boy who steals Chloe’s heart, has a secret so shameful he would rather forgo love than allow Chloe into his life.
Welcome Caller, This is Chloe had me laughing and crying all on the same page. I stopped reading it too quickly because I didn’t want it to end. The trials Chloe goes through were events that I could relate too and her insightful and generous personality made me cheer for her until the end. I don’t read too many books twice, but Chloe Camden is a character that I might just have to visit with again some time.