First Lines: It was Christmas, and Dan was in the middle of proposing to my mom when there was a knock at the door.
So I love me some Emma Mills. She writes some of the most interesting, cute, and meaningful stories that I’ve read in a while. Like, she’s up there with Morgan Matson and Sarah Dessen as far as depth and interest. So this was an easy call to read this. (But was I lucky? Hm…)
Nina is expecting her radio broadcasting class to be an easy A. That’s what everyone says it is, anyway. But when her broadcasting group of four misfits teams up, it quickly becomes clear this is going to be a disaster. They have nothing in common and, even worse, Nina’s estranged childhood best friend, Jamie, is in the group. Cue the horrible awkwardness. The show is a train wreck, internet fandoms could bring them down, and Nina’s home life is in turmoil. Everything is spiraling out of control. But…can everything still turn out ok anyway?
What I always love about Emma Mills’s stories is how real they feel while still being light and funny. Taking place in my home state (in locations that I’m familiar with) is an added bonus I’m starting to find with her work.
In this story, we’re introduced to Nina and Jamie. They grew up together, but as they started high school, they started to drift apart. Now, as seniors in their last semester at school, they’re forced to work together in a radio class as part of a group of four. Each character definitely has a lot of personality and I liked seeing Jamie’s constant vulnerability contrasted with Nina’s closed emotions. It’s not a dynamic I usually see and I really liked the reversal.
The plot is interesting as well. Each group in this radio class needs to produce their own radio broadcast through the school’s radio station. Seeing all four of them grow into their roles in this group was really cool and sweet. Joydeep is hilarious and Sasha is the responsibility that they needed to even Joydeep’s impulses out. The story is also written sometimes as transcripts of radio “links,” or the talking they do between songs. Those were really entertaining as well.
It’s hard to tell right now if this is a super memorable story that I’m going to be thinking about in the future or if it’s just another quick, cute read. I mean, it’s definitely the latter, but I think it has elements of the former as well. There was a brief reference in this book to another of Mills’s books and I immediately caught it…which says something for its memorability. I think this does actually have a lot of depth to it, so it could stand the test of time pretty well.
Sweet. Fun. I laughed a lot reading this and also maybe cried once. It’s good.