The Sound of Us
Author: Julie Hammerle
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: June 7, 2016
Review Source: Entangled Teen
Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.
She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.
Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
So 2016 is turning out to be the year of contemporaries because so far there has not been a book I haven’t loved and The Sound of Us is no exception. The Sound of Us is the story of Kiki Nichols, a girl off to opera camp for six weeks the summer before senior year. However, it isn’t any other summer camp. At the end, the seven best voices will receive a full ride to Krause University to continue their development and education in opera and Kiki is determined to be one of the chosen seven.
Despite having a heavy musical theme throughout, much like If I Stay by Gayle Forman, this book has a lot of aspects that as a reader, even one not immersed in music like myself, you can relate to. By the end of the book, I realized that writing to me, is what music, especially writing music, is to Kiki. She’s this kind of homebody who is addicted to twitter and connects more to the people online than the people in her real life because the people in real life kind of suck. She’s obsessed with movies and tv shows and much of her time online is spent discussing the things she loves and hates about them. Another totally relate able aspect is the fact that her parents don’t really believe her to be capable of doing anything significant with a music career and that in large part is because her older sister never made anything out of the same opportunity years before. Kiki also has the sting of betrayal embedded inside her, straight from her now ex-best friend. The dynamic with Beth, the ex-best friend, affected Kiki so much that she’s hiding her love for those tv shows and movies she’s crazy about in an effort to make new friends who won’t judge her. And thankfully they all realize what an awesome person she is because of her love for those things.
The romance factor throughout the novel is so good it had me craving more and I’ll leave it at that so you can really absorb it firsthand. Kiki is a completely new person from the time the book starts to the time it ends but she still keeps a lot of that charisma and lovability she had before she started camp. She grows and really comes into her own, realizing the true path she wants to take in life, standing up to those who want to put her down, and realizing that real life friendships are available to her because she’s a great person. The Sound of Us is a great, insightful, and fun read that will have you begging the author for a sequel just so that we can get more of this quirky girl and her journey to life.