Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe - Shelley Coriell Oh, Chloe Camden, I think if you were a real person, you and I would likely be good friends. To be honest, Chloe would likely be friends with many people given the rather bubbly, infectiously spirited attitude towards life that she has. She's a cool character, maybe a little on the side of being too talkative, too brutally honest, and maybe too willing to jump ahead into any situation that strikes her fancy.At least one can say that her heart's in the right place and that she means well.So what's the problem in Chloe's world? She has a grandmother who suffers from Parkinson's, her mother and grandmother don't seem to get along given their concern for her grandmother's condition, her best friends are all of a sudden shunning her, and her advisor threatens to fail her if she doesn't find another community project to do for her JISP assignment. To say she's in over her head is an understatement.Chloe has to shoulder quite a bit of responsibility in "Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe", after being assigned to her struggling school's radio station for her JISP project. It's the one positive thing that Chloe has to hold onto in the midst of many things in her life that are either fragmented or falling by the waysides. The way that Coriell writes the narrative for this story is genuine, funny, and also thought-provoking in a way I didn't expect. Each of the characters are dimensionally sound, have their own struggles, and Chloe perceives them in a way that's enlightening for a girl her age. Even as her relationship develops with the quiet tech Duncan, you can see how she grows and changes alongside him. Duncan himself is a great character - I not only liked his chemistry with Chloe, but just his overall personality. He also has to deal with some very tough situations, but he deals with them in a way that tries to make the most of what he has - and that's very refreshing for a male leading character in a YA novel.The supporting cast of "Welcome Caller, This is Chloe" is no less charming. Even Clementine's "off/on" dynamic with Chloe is well done (and she made me laugh in quite a few scenes in the book). While the struggles Chloe faces can become harrowing in certain places (Brie, Chloe's friend, seems to really have it out for her in quite a few places in the book), it never feels overdone or out of context. It's a read that's quite suited for its age group and that I think many will enjoy. That doesn't mean that I didn't think it had some flaws, but it's enjoyable for what it has to offer. I would certainly recommend it for those who want a read in YA with a vibrant, funny protagonist who has to deal with some rather tough issues, but in the same vein finds ways to make things work out for her in the end.Overall score: 4/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher ABRAMS/Amulet Books.