What It Is About: Life isn't always fair during the high school years, but for Claire; it is almost cruel. She has to deal with the "mean" girls and a Ryder who is her musical challenger in the band. Claire takes a back seat in her dance company and in the high school band. She is at the point of just not being able to handle these "negative" forces, when a major setback occurs within Claire's family. Her dad is faced with some health concerns which turns the family dynamics upside down. Claire and her brother are forced to grow up rather quickly, take on more responsibility, and face some really difficult situations. It becomes a balancing act for Claire, and she is determined to come out stronger and better in the end. That is if she doesn't fall over sideways first.
What I Thought Of It: A great read. This story reminded me why I love Jordan Sonnenblick novels so much. He can really tell a great young-adult story. I liked that this one had a female lead. She was multi-faceted and quite a complex character. The relationships she had with both her family and friends were told with depth and heart. Everything about the story was enjoyable.
Who Should Read It: It seems to be that most Sonnenblick books are definitely geared toward the middle-school and early high school readers. I remember even sharing Drums with a fourth grade class years ago. This particular novel would be appropriate for readers in grades six and above. There is nothing too "shocking" or "mature" within the pages of the story. Adult readers will of course love the story. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars