Book Review: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell is a young adult novel about one outgoing teen facing a changing world. Her summer has been horrible, stuck in the middle of a battle of wills between her mother and grandmother. Just as he thinks everything is going top get better, her junior year project is something she loves and she is anxious to see her friends. But in one day her project is axed and her friends are spreading vicious rumors about her and trying to ruin her reputation. However, her assigned project of trying to save the school radio station just might led Chloe to an unexpected but perfect path to finding her own way.

Chloe Camden is big-hearted, but wrapped up in her own significant dramas. Her grandmother is suffering from Parkinson's, and declining, while regularly clashing with Chloe's mother in her bids to maintain some independence. She has spent the summer playing referee, but in the process missed some serious support time she should have offered to her friends, even though she had no idea she was needed. The first day of school the situation begins to implode, and she discovers that her independent project and her friendships have been changed irrevocably. When she joins the radio station's team Chloe feels out of her element, and she is put to the test. She needs to hold her own among people who have no real desire to include her in their circle, and needs to forge her new path. Duncan, the radio's fix it man, is a loner with his own family troubles that fascinates Chloe. Clementine is the station's manager, and far from Chloe's biggest fan. The entire radio team is as eclectic and individually interesting as Chloe herself.

Chloe has a little too much enthusiasm to have ever been one of my friends, I related much more to Clem. Chloe is perky, and a little too obsessed with vintage shoes. However, she is ware of the fact that she can be a bit much, but does not apologize for her personality. She is who she is, and despite coming from a wealthy family has no compunction to work hard, and even done a burritos costume and make the most of it. She might be self-absorbed, but she is confident and willing to own up to her mistakes. I really liked that she spoke her mind, and did not hide her thoughts or feelings from anyone. That is real bravery.

I highly recommend Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe to readers around twelve and older. This is a young adult novel that deals with some tough issues; addiction, family struggles, illness, changing friendships, and bullying. There are also the expected issues of teenage angst and relationships that come with the high school setting.  The novel as a whole was an entertaining read with some really great characters and ideas.
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