Rating: High Five!
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Every Soul a Star, a Mango Shaped Space, Locomotion, and Kira-Kira.
Favorite Thing About the Book (this is usually a unique "touch"): the way the "2nd Favorite Songs for Now" reflect the mood of the chapter.
Synopsis (from Amazon):
Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself.
It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is.
Apple is an amazing main character. She's not special in any sort of way - in fact, she's really no different from any other self-conscious 7th Grade girl. But that's what makes this story so relatable, and therefore, captures the reader immediately. I really connected with Apple and her struggles as a 7th grade girl, and also with music being her escape from the world around her. The writing flowed nicely, and the author truly wove a story that will have all readers mesmerized. Not mesmerized because of the writing, or the story, but because of the characters, and how realistic the 7th Grade environment of the story is. I also loved all the other characters that helped support Apple's story (in both good ways and bad). And the whole time, I had Beatles songs stuck in my head, which made it even better! The Beatles are that kind of band that sings really expressive songs, and it worked perfectly to help tell Apple's story, and show the mood of each chapter to the reader.
Overall, an amazing story that I would reread in a heartbeat!