by Jaye Robin Brown
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Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities. (Goodreads)
Amber Vaugh is supposed to be a good girl, at least that’s what we are told in the beginning of the book. While I can see her being good in some parts, she definitely was not in others. I found myself questioning a lot of the decisions that she made throughout the book, and I kept hoping that she would have done things differently, especially when it came to the guys in her life. It’s not that she was an unlikeable character at all; I just wish that she had made different choices when it came to guys and even with how she treated herself in general.
Also, Amber’s family life was a mess. Seriously, it was one great big, hot mess. They had so many issues throughout the story, and what’s worse is that they didn’t really get any better as the story went along. At the end of the book, I still felt that this family needed help, and I especially wish that the mom would have done more towards the cheating dad. That’s just not something that should ever be tolerated, in my opinion.
Will was probably one of my most favorite characters in the book. While he and Amber didn’t actually get off to the best start in the beginning of the book, he had his redeeming moments as the book went along, and I found myself liking him more and more. Another character that I really liked was Sean. I love how sweet and super shy he was, and I found him to be such a relatable character. I really enjoyed the parts of the book where he was involved.
I actually really liked the music parts of the storyline. I’ve always been a big fan of music in general, and I enjoy stories that have music in the storyline. So I did really enjoy those parts of the book, and I wish that there had been even more in the storyline.
Overall; while I had some issues with this book, I still found it to be an interesting read, and I’m definitely interested in checking out more books by this author in the future.