Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: A Little Wanting Song

Title: A Little Wanting Song
Author: Cath Crowley
Published: June 8th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published April 2005)

Synopsis: A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords. . . .

CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she's good at it. But she only sings when she's alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus's Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie's mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she's visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She's got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she's not entirely unspectacular.

ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie's grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can't wait to leave their small country town. And she's figured out a way: she's won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose's ticket out.

Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, Charlie and Rose's "little wanting song" is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.

Thoughts: My 15 year old self would have loved this book. I think I'm a bit too old for it, but it's still a great read.

Charlie spends every summer at her grandparent's house in the country. Her family life has been extremely rocky. Her mother died when she was a little girl, her dad has been distant ever since and her grandmother has just died, leaving her grandfather grieving. Luckily, Charlie turns to the one friend who always seems to be there: music. She cranks up her ipod, plays her guitar and sings a song. Maybe one day, she'll find the courage to sing in front of people.

Rose has lived in the house next to Charlie's grandparents her whole life. She wants nothing more than to run away to the city and attend a science school. Unfortunately, her parents are not ones for change. Her only chance of leaving this place is befriending Charlie. Ever since they were kids, Rose has deliberately left Charlie out and openly made fun of her. So, if Rose befriends Charlie now, she can move in with her AND Charlie will have a friend. Win-win, right? Eeeh, not so much.

As you can see, the POVs alternate from Charlie to Rose and back again. Both voices are distinctive and so are the girls. My favorite POV happens to be Charlie's. Her voice felt more raw, therefore more real. I love the lyrics she writes. They're clever and sweet. And the scenes with her and Dave are adorable.

I still liked Rose's story as well. She shows the reader what it's like to live in a small town and desperately want to escape. While, at times her actions are selfish, she still ends up redeeming herself and becoming a better person for it. Plus, her boyfriend Luke is hilarious! He is the true definition of "teenage boys."

A Little Wanting Song is a great read for younger-middle aged teens. There's a handful of profanity and a kiss or two, but nothing raunchy. To all tweens out there, add this to your summer reading list. There's friendship, romance, music and of course, beet burgers!


  1. Aww, it sounds cute, especially with the two girls having to learn and change so much. But, like you said, maybe a little young for me.


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