Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Review Source: Library
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn’t have friends. She has, as she’s often reminded, issues. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger’s.”
Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea’s preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.
It’s obvious that Drea can’t hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she’s found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?
I wasn’t totally sure what to expect with this book, I just knew I wanted to read it because I had heard so many people talking about how good it was. And? The reviews I read were absolutely correct. I breezed through this book, not just because it’s not super long, but because I was so emotionally invested in Drea and her story. Having this story told through Drea’s perspective was really interesting. I like how Tara Kelly wrote at the back of the book that this story is not about people with Asperger’s and/or ADHD, but about one individual’s journey who happens to have those conditions. I appreciated how blunt and honest Drea was, and I liked how she was confused with certain social norms, because it made sense to me. Who hasn’t questioned the way that things are before?
There are so many things about this book that are so great. The characters, the plot itself, and the writing were amazing. I loved the relationship between Drea and Justin; I liked how he wasn’t afraid to call Drea on how she judges everyone, and how he was also gentle and kind to her, even when she wasn’t sure how to behave. Nevertheless, I thought that their relationship progressed a little too quickly to be believable; Drea’s change in personality seemed so drastic in a couple of scenes. Naomi was interesting... I kind of wanted to smack her and make her all better at the same time. One thing about the synopsis: I thought that the band would have played a much larger role in the book, considering the description, but it wasn’t really a huge thing, although Drea's love of music was a main part of it. I would definitely recommend this to older teens because of its more mature themes (sex, drugs, some language), but for anyone who feels old enough to read it, this was a really beautiful and emotionally honest book.
Find Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca