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by hmhibbit, November 7, 2014


4 star rating
Amplified #1
By Tara Kelly
ISBN# 9780805092967
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie


When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she’s the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn’t think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . .

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified. (Goodreads)


Not many YA books focus on music. And out of the books that do, not many are good. Amplified is an exception. Not only did Amplified intrigue me, but it also made me laugh, cry, scream like a fangirl, and yearn for the sequel. Considering this is a book reviewer who rarely makes it through a full book without wanting to tear her hair out, it’s quite an accomplishment. Here’s to Amplified!

Jasmine is quite a character. She’s been accepted into Stanford. Unhappy, she decides to pursue her dream of playing guitar. Jasmine has a great sense of humor and a lot of determination. I loved her drive and courage. Throughout Amplified, she truly develops as a character. Overcoming her shyness and inability to play onstage, she becomes a true guitarist. Jasmine, I kind of wish I were you.

Let’s move onto the guy now. Sean, can I marry you? Sean is your typical brooding guy in YA. He’s broken and unhappy because he recently broke up with his girlfriend. He feels betrayed by the world and is taking it out on Jasmine. However, he’s cute, smart, and charming when he wants to be. How much better can you get than that?

Tara Kelly, I commend you for not resorting to insta-love. Insta-love has got to be my biggest pet peeve. Instead, Jasmine and Sean gradually progress as a possible couple. They slowly and plausibly overcome their mutual dislike of each other. Then they build up naturally! Keyword naturally. I love loves that are at least half believable.

Amplified is truly hilarious. The fact that it’s extremely far-fetched adds to the humor. Tara Kelly is a naturally humorous person. When you give that humor to Jasmine, you get a funny, interesting book that tells you a lot about the music world and jams. Half this book left me laughing, and the other book left me in pain. Pain because I was laughing too much.

The characters in this book are all fresh. I truly enjoyed reading Amplified!



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