Hello again! Remember this feature? Well, it’s making its 2013 debut! And today I must talk to you about:
welcome, caller, this is chloe.
To this day, I still remember reading Magan’s review of this debut novel from last April. (That’s saying something because I’ve read quite a few.) She was so unbelievably upbeat about the book, and I couldn’t wait to run out and read it myself. Months and months later, I am kicking myself for not making it a priority sooner.
Because my partner was so right. Chloe is “quirky and funny” even though she has a ton to deal with.
Her best friends have ditched her, and her senior project (which was supposed to be about soap operas) has been changed by the new counselor at her school, and now she is going to be working at the school radio station that is about to be closed down. (Doesn’t it remind you of that Saved by the Bell episode?) Chloe’s grandma, her closest relative, is dealing with with symptoms of Parkinson’s and she’s constantly in the middle of disagreements between her mom and grandma.
Author Shelly Coriell does an exceptional job of showing just how relationships can grow and change with time — from the perspective of family and friends. (Especially when it’s really no one’s fault.) But despite everything, Chloe is a girl you want on your side. She’s loyal and sweet and hilarious. She’s also so optimistic; I found myself wishing I tapped into my Chloe side a little bit each day.
There’s some oh-la-la romance (but not too much of it) and a lot of fun moments when Chloe is diving into her work for the radio station and embarking on some new opportunities. The book is incredibly well-paced, had me smiling from ear to ear, and I was really sad when it was all over. We all know that’s a sign of a great read! (Plus Chloe loves vintage shoes and Mexican food — love it!)
[Big thanks to Racquel from The Book Barbies for compiling these for me.]
the first sentence:
“I LOVED BEING A BURRITO.
Not the actual costume, a stinky ankle-length tube of compressed foam with scratchy shoulder straps. No, I loved the physical act of being a burrito—more precisely, of getting people to notice me—and I was good at it.”
her love for shoes:
“So where did my passions lie? Easy. My friends. Family. Dos Hermanas. Soap operas. Shoes. Definitely shoes. Preferably of the vintage variety.”
“Unique. I liked that. Unique things stood out, they made a statement, like vintage shoes.”
“You’re a warped soul, Chloe.” He didn’t laugh, but that half smile curved his mouth. Mission accomplished.
Some swoon (and more shoe love!)
“But that’s okay. Tonight I have eggs and cheese on toast and”—he tipped the sandwich toward me—“a pretty girl with a big heart on her sleeve.
That big heart did a big jump. With a laugh I lifted my right foot and waggled it to the side. “And great shoes. You can’t forget the great shoes.”
Her wacky friendship with Clem:
“What?” Clem thwacked her ear, vaudeville style. “What did you say?”
I let out a sound that was part groan, part laugh. “Clementine Radmore is one hundred percent, unequivocally right. Do you want me to get on the air and issue a royal proclamation?”
I ignored the grin on her face.
If you are more of a visual person, you might enjoy Magan’s themed gift back inspired by Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe.
Now really, what are you waiting for?! Go check this one out!