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Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley…

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe

by Shelley Coriell

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I was finding this book a quirky, entertaining read until the last quarter which became quite serious spoiling the overall mood of the book, and then the ending was disappointing as well. However, Chloe was a great character. Although immature and shallow at the start, she did grow throughout the book, and I loved her bubbly enthusiasm, her unending optimism, her sense of fun and her big heart. I also really enjoyed the other students working for the school's radio station, especially Clementine who had no time for Chloe. They were all misfits dealing with serious issues including drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, bullying, parental neglect and broken friendships. Yet, despite these issues, the author managed, for the most part, to keep "Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe" a light, fun story for younger teens. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jun 14, 2016 |
Chloe Camden seems to have it all; a loving family, amazing best friends, popularity and not a care in the world. But after the Mistletoe Ball and Winter Break everything starts to change. Due to her grandmothers deteriorating health, she is caught in the middle of a fight between her mother and her beloved Grams, her best friends start to shun her and spread hateful rumors that get the rest of the school to whisper behind her back, and, on top of all of that, she has to worry about not failing her JISP. With no friends to turn to she focuses all her energy on her JISP which involves working at the school’s student run radio station. There she finds a new place among the misfits who call it home.

Chloe is constantly described as the “funny friend”, the one that is there to make you laugh even when all you want to do is cry. And she continues to be just that even when things in her own life are not going well. This need to make everyone around her smile and laugh was my favorite thing about her. I also loved that she handles everything that is flung at her with maturity and her head held high. She talks a little too much sometimes, but by the end of the book she learns that sometimes what people need isn’t laughter, that instead they just want someone who will listen.

The rest of the radio staffers are also really great characters. They are all completely different from one another. There is Clementine who loves the radio station as if it were her child and who does not welcome Chloe as easily as all the others. Their back and forth banter was very fun to read. There is Haley, a pregnant classmate who finds comfort in the radio station and in her DVDs. There are Frick, Frack, and Taysom who all find a voice through radio. And then there is Duncan who is the definition of strong and silent. He has difficulty expressing himself verbally which is something that Chloe slowly helps teach him. They could not possibly be any different, but that is what makes their relationship work. After all, opposites attract.

My dad actually works in a radio station part-time, but I had never realized exactly how much planning and work it takes to put together a radio show. It was great reading about all of it and I learned quite a few things. I almost wish my school had a student run station because it sounds really cool to be a part of.

This cover is perfect for the book. Just by looking at the cover you can tell exactly what the book is going to be about; a radio show. Also, the colors are bright and bold just like Chloe and the model is very character appropriate.

If Shelley Coriell continues to write books with such an amazing cast of characters I will definitely be picking up another one! ( )
  joanab951 | May 21, 2015 |
Chloe's friends' complaints definitely have merit. Chloe is kind of annoying and self-obsessed. They definitely were right about that. Under most circumstances, she would be difficult to stomach as a narrator. She's such a brat, but one who thinks she's such a sweetie and so caring. No, honey. Just no. I prefer for selfish brats to OWN it. Like I do. Just sayin'. I mean, there's this scene where she calls one of her former BFs to try to figure out what's going on and she spends forever on the phone just yakking away WHILE HER GRANDMA IS BLEEDING FROM A WOUND AND WAITING TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. Your social life is a big deal and all but go to the hospital first! This girl is just so clueless.

At first, I was not sympathetic to Chloe's plight like at all. I mean, I know how much it sucks to be friendless in high school, but she brought it on herself. When I thought her friends had just tired of dealing with her, that's what I thought. Then I learned exactly why her reputation was in tatters, and, suddenly, I totally had to hope that she recovered her status somewhat, although I still wanted her to grow up and chill out.

Despite knowing that I would totally be annoyed by Chloe if I knew her in real life, her character was very vibrant and interesting. Most of all, I loved her obsession with vintage shoes. Although I'm not a shoe person myself (I wear flip flops most of the year), that's a really neat hobby to have, and I loved how much joy she got from a pair of shoes. Plus, vintage is cool. I also like the first sentence of the book (in fact, that's one of the best first sentences I've read). When I read the opening, I thought that there was no way Coriell could convince me any self-respecting teen would enjoy a job where they had to dress up in a burrito costume. Well, she proved me wrong. Chloe totally would.

She's one of those people that you can hardly believe exists that can make anything cool, so she just does what she wants. When it comes right down to it, she's a seriously odd duck, but she does everything so passionately that she's really hard to ignore. I also liked that, once she sets her mind to something (a key element), she completely invests herself in it, whatever it is. She certainly is selfish at the outset, and still kind of at the end. However, I can see her being a good girlfriend, because she'll really want to help him, even if that means helping him with his trash job.

The whole crew at the radio station I loved. Bitchy, but good-hearted, Clementine with a fondness for beets, Frick and Frack (I want to know how they got those nicknames, and Duncan especially. I wish there had been a place like that in my high school, although there probably was and I just didn't know it. They were all outcasts, but formed their own little supportive social group. Oh, I also need to give a shout out to the awesomeness of Grams. She is completely batty, but the best kind of fictional grandma, right up there with the grandma from Stephanie Plum and from Inara Scott's Talents series.

There were a few things with which I had a bit of a problem. First off, Chloe has a really weird way of speaking that doesn't strike me as quite natural. She has invented some slang, like gossip being 'jellyfish whispers.' I'm sorry, but that's not a thing. It derived from the fact that jellyfish sting, I think, but I'm just not feeling it. Chloe also always refers to her best friends as BFs. Can you not? I feel like I would have been less irritated by BFF; I've just never heard anyone say BF, except about a boyfriend.

Though the relationship of the book was a slow-burner, it still committed one of my YA romance no-nos. Every time Chloe and Duncan (note: I hate the nickname Dunc) touch, she feels this crazy literal spark. I mean, at one point, he puts his hand on her ankle and she like freaks out mentally about how good it feels. Get over it already. I read about stuff like this all the time in YA, and I really think it's going to give people unrealistic expectation. Sure, touching someone you like or being touched by them will feel good, but I really doubt there's going to be an actual spark, unless there's static electricity in play. Also, why are his eyes silver? I keep reading YA books where people have silver or purple or something. There are plenty of colors in human eyes naturally; please use those, unless you have a way to explain it. At least say that his eyes were grey and so shiny they looked silver.

All things considered, Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe is a really great read. I know I powered through it in no time. In future, I hope to see Coriell do something even better, because I think she shows a lot of potential. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
This review first appeared here on my blog.

Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is the first book I've given five stars to this year and it earned every one of those stars! I was first drawn to this book by the interesting colours used on the cover and I just had to know more. The description sounded so unique and unlike anything I'd read before- I'm always on the look out for an idea that is different to everything I've read before and this book certainly delivered on that!

I will admit that I was not totally impressed by the first few chapters. I found them slow going and I really wasn't liking the main character, Chloe! However, things really really turned around at about chapter four and after that, I literally could not put the book out of my hands. I do not give out five stars lightly- they only go to books that I really hated to set down and this is one of those books. I was completely drawn into Chloe's world and felt just as frustrated with her life as she did!

On the outside, Chloe may look like she has it all. The perfect family, the perfect personality, the perfect friends. But this year, things have started to take a turn for the worse for Chloe and she's struggling to cope. Her best friends suddenly turn against her for a reason she was oblivious to and her family life isn't as great as it once was. She's terrified about her grandmother's illness and having a tough time trying to deal with the conflict between her mother and grandmother. To top it all off, her counselor has decided her independent study project isn't good enough- and that she has to start all over again!

While Chloe's problems may not be as huge as other peoples', they are very real to her and definitely shaking her up. But what I loved was how Chloe handled it all. Not for one second did she let it get her down and she never gave up. Instead, she throws herself head first into her project- reviving the school's radio station. Here, Chloe meets some very interesting characters and finds herself a whole bunch of new friends.

Chloe is a strong character who believes in herself and her abilities. I find it is rare to find female characters with so much confidence and guts and I definitely liked that about this book! I loved the whole story and hung on Chloe's every word. It's an easy and somewhat light read but it still deals with many darker issues and the characters all develop well throughout the book. I liked it a lot and I'm very interested to see what Coriell has to offer in the future!
( )
  nicola26 | Mar 30, 2013 |
This time, I decided to try something out of my comfort zone. We all know I normally go for the romantic suspense - hot men on the book cover - make you sweat type of books. I will say, I am glad that I decided to stray. This books was well worth the read! I couldn't be more happier with it.

Here you have Chloe, who is facing something we have all gone through at some point in our lives. She is dealing with a family that is trying to make it through some hard times - her best friends have abandoned her all because of a misunderstanding - and due to her JISP project she needs to accomplish so she doesn't get an F - she's now in the fight to save the school radio show!

Enter Duncan stage left! Here you have a boy who is all alone dealing with a mother that has a Meth addiction and disappears for days at a time, comes back - says she is going to get clean - then starts the process all over again. He is working 2 jobs trying to make it and his only "family" at this point, are the other kids working the radio show.

When you throw two struggling people together, things are bound to get interesting! Chole, bless her heart, is trying to make a comeback after one of her ex best friends totally smears her reputation. Her only allies? The radio broadcasting crew.

What do they do? - They start 2 live talk shows. Both Featuring Chloe. - When one ends in a disaster & someone decides to burn down the broadcasting room - can the crew pull together and be there for one another? More importantly, can Chloe and Duncan be there for one another?

Watching Chloe fight her feelings for Duncan, tell him about them - then try and figure out exactly how Duncan - the biggest non emotion shower ever - really feels was so heart wrenching! This story was so well written and everything played out so well! I was shocked at times, depressed at times, but in the end - the story was, without a doubt amazing.

It's one of those "defeat the times" stories. How one, or in this case two, people can battle all odds, go against everything thrown and them, and still come out on top! ( )
  TabathaV | Jun 26, 2012 |
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"When big-hearted Chloe Camden's best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project, Chloe is forced to take on a "more meaningful" project by joining her school's struggling radio station"--

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