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Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Harmonic FeedbackHaving moved from place to place frequently with her mother, Drea is used to not making or having friends. She doesn’t need friends; they wouldn’t understand how different she is anyway. Anyway, she has her music, and that’s all that really matters. Or is it? With her latest move, Drea finds herself forming two unlikely friendships with other outsiders, Naomi and Justin. And even though she’s become accustomed to being alone, Drea is starting to really enjoy her time with her new friends, especially after they decide to form a band together. There’s more to Drea’s life now, and she’s starting to like it. But what can she do when the happiness of her new life is threatened? Can she hide behind the music again, or will she have the strength to find solace elsewhere?

Harmonic Feedback was one of those books I originally thought I’d read only if I had the time. Having now read it, I’m glad I found the time, because this novel is such a well written and moving story. Novels with strong connections to music have always been special to me because of my own love of music. I did not understand even half of the highly technical musical terms that Drea uses, but this did not stop me from enjoying the story since Drea’s passion for music is so clear. Kelly has done a remarkably good job of establishing her characters, especially including Drea, Naomi, and Justin. Their flaws, their fears, and most of all, their true passions are so vividly drawn to the extent that they feel entirely realistic even though we don’t see that much of some of them. This is an exceptional debut that manages to combine friendship, love, dysfunction, and loss so beautifully. I look forward to see where Kelly’s writing will take readers in her upcoming, also musically inspired book, Amplified.

Harmonic Feedback will be enjoyed by fans of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert, Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, and Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

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