Amplified by Tara Kelly

Amplified by Tara Kelly was one of the first few books that I borrowed from the library. I’m glad I was able to borrow a copy because I’ve heard good things about this contemporary novel. I think it can be classified as either YA or New Adult since Jasmine just graduate from high school and is exploring her options.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she’s the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn’t think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it…

I had almost forgotten what it was like to devour a book because it’s so very easy to get into. I started reading this on a Sunday and the buzz was good enough to make me NOT dread Monday. So I should just make sure that I’m reading a good book at the start of every work week to make things easier for me. It’s funny how easy it was for me to relate to what Jasmine was going through because I’m not a musician. I would love to be able to play an instrument but piano and guitar lessons when I was a kid didn’t work out. I do have stage freight though. People think that because I’m so talkative and expressive, I enjoy public speaking. But no, I’m terrified of speaking in front of too many people – I get nervous even in big meetings. So I can totally get how Jasmine freaks out at the idea of performing in front of a live audience. I do admire how spunky she is for someone who has never performed in front of a live audience. She was willing to delay going to Stanford for college (Can you imagine? Would love to get admitted in a school like that) to see if she can live her dream of becoming a musician. I can’t talk about Amplified without mentioning how much I enjoyed the slow burn romance depicted. Here’s one of the snippets that I really liked:

“He studied me like I was a complicated book. All intensity, no hint of a smile. Which could be good or bad. Some books are intoxicating, while other get thrown across the room.”

There are definitely some swoon-worthy scenes in this book. That’s probably one of the reasons why I enjoyed reading this. I know I always say this but I’m a fan of romance that doesn’t happen out of the blue – I like the tension and the teasing around between characters before they even realize that they’re attracted to each other. I also think it’s amazing how Tara Kelly was able to write about making music in such a way that a non-musician like me would still understand. I’ve always wondered what it’s really like to play an instrument so I enjoy novels that paint a clear picture of how that feels like. It’s funny because even though Amplified doesn’t have a cliffhanger ending, I thought that I would have liked it better if the ending was a bit longer. Then I discovered that Tara Kelly is writing a sequel so yay, I look forward to reading that. I hope it’s just as good as this one. Amplified is a good read if you’re feeling a bit slump-ish because of how engrossing it is. Music lovers would probably be able to relate to it more. I feel like a lot of contemporary YA novels focus on music nowadays. Some of the ones that I’ve read and enjoyed are Saving June by Hannah Harrington and If I Stay by Gayle Forman. And I’m planning to check out Audrey Wait by Robin Benway and Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. Any other suggestions?

Other reviews:
Steph Su Reads
The Reading Date