Tuesday, July 5, 2011

“People need reasons. Explanations. If they aren’t given them, they create them.”

Songs for a Teenage Nomad – Kim Culbertson

204 pages

Genre:  YA; realistic fiction

Summary:  Calle Smith is just your average 14-year-old girl, with one big exception:  as soon as she starts to get comfortable somewhere, her mom picks up both of their lives and moves them somewhere else.  This typically happens when one of Calle’s mom’s romantic relationships comes to an end, as she feels that leaving everything behind will give them a fresh start and erase bad memories.  Instead of forgetting, moving causes Calle to cling on to every memory she has, associate them with a song, and write down into a journal.  When the duo reaches their newest destination, Calle doesn’t realize that she will come face to face with her past in a much greater way than ever before.

Review:  Songs for a Teenage Nomad was an incredibly fun read, and I read through the entire book in one sitting.

The story itself moved along at a nice clip, and I really enjoyed how Calle chronicled her life through journal entries and song titles.  I tend to associate memories with songs, too, so it was easy to relate to Calle in that regard, and it also made me want to keep a song journal of my own.  It was interesting to see Calle adjust to her new environment as she tried not to get too comfortable, but craved normalcy all the same.  There was plenty of plot twists and action throughout, and the twist at the end was particularly poignant; I definitely didn’t see it coming.

The characters were quite well-drawn, and all of the teenagers were believable.  I especially enjoyed Calle and Sam’s relationship as it seemed incredibly realistic for high school students, and watching it develop was quite a rollercoaster.  It was also interesting to look at the home lives of both Calle and Sam, as they both didn’t have the average family and their lives were far from perfect.

If you’re looking for a realistic YA book that focuses on relationships and what it’s like to be a teenager, definitely check out Songs for a Teenage Nomad.

Rating:  3.5/5

Another Book by Kim Culbertson:  Instructions for a Broken Heart