Title: Harmonic Feedback
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
The CoverIt doesn't look spectacular or like a lot of fun but I actually really like it because it's simple; no colors, simple font and an image that will eventually make sense once you have read the novel. It looks different from a lot of other YA books out there, which is always a good thing as I have noted before.
The StoryThe main character Drea is obsessed with music and sound design and doesn't have a lot of friends. The reason for this is that she has been diagnosed with "a touch of Asperger's" and ADHD by several psychiatrists. She doesn't really understand a lot of social actions but her questions about people actually make sense, for example, "why do people lie?" Drea doesn't really want to be known by her labels, but fact remains that it's hard for her to make friends. The fact that she and her mom move around a lot doesn't really help with the issue.
However in this new town, she ends up making not one but two friends, Naomi and Justin, who are both outsiders as well. And they actually really like Drea, Justin might even like her more than just a friend. They form a band and Drea finally feels like she's fitting in somewhere. As it turns out though, Naomi has a whole other set of problems of her own...
My ThoughtsI'm so happy I discovered Tara Kelly and this book (I actually read her other novel Amplified before but I'll review that another time) because it's such a gem. Harmonic Feedback is wonderfully written and it definitely tugs on your heart strings. Drea seems so real and while some of her issues might be related to her diseases, they are actually problems everybody will have experienced in their life, hasn't everybody felt different or weird at one point or another? All the characters are very real and while the time frame of the book is rather short, their friendship is wonderful because they simply click.
Drea is a wonderful protagonist, she questions everything and it makes for an interesting read, especially if you have had these kinds of thoughts yourself. And again, hasn't everybody? For Drea it might be related to her diagnoses but her thoughts and questions actually seem very real. Moreover, she is not characterized by her ADHD and Asperger's and this is not a book about her struggle with those, it's a story about a girl, her love for music and her friends. Not only the main character is great, the others are all authentic as well and have their own depths and voices.
I don't really want to say a lot more about this book or its plot because it's simply something you have to read and experience for yourself and I don't want to spoil anything of the story for anybody who wants to read it but know that this is quite a heavy read dealing with some serious issues but it's also a marvelous story of a girl trying to find her place in the world and figuring out who she is, her relationships with the people around her and her passion for music.
(you can find Chiara at Resistingly. Thanks so much for another book review!)