At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she? Goodreads.Review - A highly relatable tale of waiting for that person to make your heart swell while life chugs along.
This is my second jaunt into Colasanti-world and it was a welcome return. In terms of the plot, having seen the quickly mentioned 80's film, Pump Up The Volume, I knew the mystery podcaster's identity pretty much from the beginning. That being said, I think the cloak and dagger method worked to marginal success. There is a certain level of predictability about most of the novel's events from Marisa's romantic life and her parents' marital meltdown . But that didn't take away from my enjoyment of Colasanti's more recent release on the YA romantic contemporary shelves.
Colasanti tackles a wide range of narrative beat to varying degrees of success. Amongst the strong is the way in which she details the swings in Marisa's depression. The protagonist has recovered from a particularly bad bout and yet the author shows that depression isn't something that disappears, it's something that can be managed...to a degree. The parental breakdown is also an element that rang true, specifically the anger and powerlessness that grips hard on a teen in this situation. The romance is an element that works and yet doesn't. It is predictable. One option is beautifully developed and fleshed out, the other is a victim to the plot development.
I really loved the pop culture references dropped throughout the book. Every film mentioned was completely in my wheelhouse and recognised immediately. Part of me wonders if the current generation will be equally engaged though as most mentions are from my generation, not theirs.
It's a great little tale about friendship, love and redefining what you want in the "one".
Published - July 9, 2010
Format - Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher - Viking Juvenille
Source - purchased