Welcome to my stop for the blog tour!
Soul of the Band: Making the Cut by K.L. Brady
Published February 7th 2012 by LadyLit Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: ecopy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Tour: YA Novel Reader
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Buy: Amazon, Kindle
Music-loving 16-year-old Brandy Jackson has had it up to here with "they"--the annoying voices inside her mother's head. She isolates herself from the dreaded schizophrenic episodes with Beethoven and her iPod. Her long-suppressed desire to learn music is squelched by the burden of mental illness, at least until she arrives home from school to find her belongings on the DC streets and her mother vanished. Fortunately, Aunt Charlie comes to her rescue and moves her to Mapleton, Ohio, where she begins a new life free of her troubled past—or so she thinks.
Brandy’s plans to fly under the radar at school in order to conceal her family's shame are quashed when Jenny Lee, her new next-door neighbor and a flutist, recognizes Brandy's musical obsession and urges her to join the all-white high school marching band. Brandy obliges and soon realizes she’s traded her old troubles for new ones. Now, she stands out like a chocolate chip floating in a sea of milk; she has less than three months to learn to play her dreaded tuba-—her only ticket to earn a spot on the band; and a near kiss with the Queen B’s boyfriend lands her in triple trouble with the popular chick clique. But when another band member’s failed plot to get rid of his nemesis unexpectedly leaves Brandy in contention for the band’s most coveted position, the ensuing drama will give her the strength rise above her circumstances—or leave her paralyzed in the shame of her past.
Soul of the Band: Making the Cut is an enjoyable and realistic YA read. What attracted me to this book was the sparkling stuff on the cover and then the title caught my eye. A band? Is this something related to music? Definitely! It's about Brandy joining a marching band and what she went through to attain the position of the field commander. Oh... I'm craving for some crazy band marching formation! Of course there's some romantic relationship going on. I mean, which YA book doesn't?
Brandy loved music and seemed to be familiar with a few classical. In addition, she's also ashamed of her mother's condition. She's lucky enough to have Aunt Charlie coming to her rescue after she was evicted out of the house after her mom went missing. Turns out that her mom checked into the hospital to get treatment but that didn't mean that Brandy was ready to forgive and forget.
Brandy met Jenny, her neighbour and school mate, who encouraged Brandy to join the school band because of her love for music. Of course Brandy took up the offer but the trouble started there when she was attracted to Jake at first sight and he happened to be on the band too. What's worse was that Jake was currently dating the prettiest and most popular in school. He did try to uncomplicate things between him and Shelly but will it work? There's another guy, Dorian, who seemed to be interested in Brandy as well. Why wouldn't she consider him? And what's with the threatening letters that Brandy was receiving? I'll leave you to read that on your own since I didn't want to divulge too much information.
Overall, the pace of the story was just right for most parts of the book except when it comes to the ending which left me with a gasp, a gaping mouth and then a frown. The ending was unexpected and abrupt, leaving some questions unanswered. However, it does makes a great opening for book 2 of the series which I'm looking forward to reading to find out what would happen to Brandy. It'll also be great if we can get to learn more about Dorian too. I think there's too little of him in this book and he could turn out to be an interesting character as well. The author has also injected touches of humor into the book. Some scenes are fun to read! Always great to read about a main character with some spunk in her who never give up in pursuing what she really wants. Contemporary readers and music lovers will enjoy this book.
About the author:
K. L. Brady is a D.C. native but spent a number of her formative years in the Ohio Valley. She’s an alumnus of the University of the District of Columbia and University of Maryland University College, earning a B.A. in Economics and M.B.A., respectively. She works as an analyst for a major government contracting firm and is an active real estate agent with Exit Realty by day—and writes by night (often into the wee hours of the morning). She lives just outside of D.C. in Cheltenham, Maryland, with her son, William, and two pet Betta fish, Spongebob and Jerry, and lives to eat chocolate, shop, read and write.