I really enjoyed this YA contemporary. It was light, fun and full of a great mix of characters, not to mention the fact that it helped reawaken my love for music.
The story is told from the P.O.V of Elise, a smart and funny sixteen year-old who is trying her hardest to become popular at school. She’s sick of constantly wandering the halls of her high school on her own and wants friends to share her school days with. When we meet her she’s studying-up on all things mainstream, like fashion and pop-culture. She hopes that if she learns all this stuff she’ll finally be able to join in with her peers. In actuality Elise hates all things mainstream and would far rather be hanging out in her grungy clothes, listening to the Muse. Elise’s dislike of all things mainstream is one of the reasons I liked her. I’m not one for anything mainstream myself and would much rather be listening to some metal with big chunky riffs and blistering guitar solos. You’ll never catch me in a pair of heels either, for that matter! Screw style, I go for comfort! It’s easy for me to say these things though, I’m not stuck in the drudgery of school life like Elise is. She just wants the loneliness to stop and is prepared to sacrifice who she really is to make it so.I don’t want to give too much of the story away so I’ll just say that things don’t quite work out like Elise had planned, but she accidentally stumbles on something even better.
For such a short book, a lot was covered. A lot of issues were touched upon, such as loneliness, bullying, love, but the central issue was identity and how self-abandonment is so often pursued, but ultimately results in an inauthentic life. So many of us are uncomfortable in our own skin and strive towards something we’re not just to fit in. What this showed is that once we accept who we are, life becomes infinitely easier and more fun.
I would have loved it if this went into a little more depth and expanded on some themes. A little less directness would also have been appreciated as, at times, it felt like things were being shoved in the readers face. I guess what I’m trying to say is a bit more show rather than tell would have been good. Another great choice, though, if you want something light.