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Review - Girl Out Loud

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Girl Out Loud
by Emily Gale

Publication: June 1, 2012
Pages: 288
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

*Silent Scream!*

Kass Kennedy is nobody's idol. She does forget the lyrics. She's not a gleek. The x factor? Not her! Read her lips: She has the right to remain silent.

Just try telling that to her dad.

Because he's totally lost it this time, demanding Kass audition for a TV talent show. Which would be slightly less than death-by-embarrassment if Kass could (duh!) actually sing. And if even the smallest part of her craved the spotlight. Stardom is her dad's dream, not hers. But he's so fragile, she's afraid he just might crack if she doesn't go through with his latest, craziest plan.

Not helping: Her hopelessly MIA mom. The budding criminal mastermind also known as her kid brother. And amateur shrink Izzy and used-to-be-sweet Char, who've gone all frenemies over a boy in brown boots. (Don't ask.)

It's only rock n' roll? If only! Inside, Kass is screaming, but no one is listening. How loud does a girl have to shout to be heard?

Kass Kennedy has a unique, slightly over-the-top personality. While interacting with the real world around her, she plays game shows and holds imaginary conversations with Simon Cowell in her mind. It's easy to tell when she's doing this, as the worlds are in italics. Her whole world is one big drama. Her dad is bipolar, and when he's not down in the dumps he's set on making Kass a star. Her mom is never there for her, her kid brother won't help her (he's too busy making money through not-very-legal methods), and her best friends are preoccupied with their own problems.

At first, I had trouble getting into the story with Kass's inner conversations interrupting the flow and her own personality over dramatizing her life (for valid reasons). Once I adjusted to Kass's voice and the plotlines connected, however, I was able to relate to Kass. Everyone has times when they freak out over little details or feel alienated from the rest of the family. Kass thinks that her mom likes her brother better, and Raff is jealous that their dad fawns over Kass, as troublesome as they know it is for Kass. My brother and I go through these kinds of phases as well, though we know our parents care about both of us. It's just hard sometimes not to think that parents play favorites.

Of course, there are frustrating moments. Kass makes a lot of naive decisions, which I entirely get. Fifteen is the age for teen angst that only seem funny and nonsensical when you're older; it is the age for making silly decisions and placing all the blame either on others or yourself. Char is one of Kass's best friends and supposed to be sweet, but she gets angry at Kass over a crush. Not to mention that Dream Boy is eighteen and they're fifteen. While the age different becomes less importance as you grow older, eighteen and fifteen is a bit creepy. I did appreciate how the romance is more of a side note to the bigger issues in her world, and it wraps up realistically.

Kass doesn't make the best decisions at first, and she blames herself for a lot of things that aren't her fault. Over the course of the novel, however, she will learn how to make her own decisions and make a stand for herself. Girl Out Loud is a short, sweet contemporary read about how a mental disorder can affect a family, overcoming the drama in life, and discovering your self-identity. It is about family, friendship, and first love. And there is teen angst, a whole lot of drama, and humor. Plenty of humor. All portrayed realistically from a fifteen-year-old girl's perspective.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
1 comment on "Review - Girl Out Loud"
  1. This sounds like a pretty good and realistic read. I totally understand over dramatics when it's within reason and I often find it makes it all the more believable for their age. Great review! And i love the new look! :)

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