In THE SOUND OF US, Kiki is determined to get into the classical music program of a renowned university.
What intrigued me: A mixture of that gorgeous cover and curiosity about the premise
Fun, relatable, and unique
THE SOUND OF US immediately sucked me in. Hammerle has a fantastically relatable narrative voice that throws you right into the story. I couldn't put this down, every time I tried I kept thinking about Kiki and what would happen next. This is how you make your contemporary pop. THE SOUND OF US amazes with a very simple story that's so fantastically well executed that you just have to continue reading this even if that means you have you stay up past your bedtime.
One of my biggest worries was that THE SOUND OF US may not be able to translate the magic of Pitch Perfect in a written medium. It's not like you can exactly write down what music sounds like. Egh, you know what I mean. Anyway, I don't know how, but Ms. Hammerle did it. It feels like you're actually hearing the music while reading this. Paired with an unforgettable protagonist, this is just a delight and I'd recommend this to all contemporary lovers!
It plays in your typical university setting, but Hammerle cleverly chooses to only use the university atmosphere and to not give the reader lots and lots of boring class scenes. We learn a lot about the kind of people that go to the university and about Kiki's experiences. Essentially, this is a coming-of-age story, Kiki goes through so much character development in this novel that you can almost say she becomes a whole new person at the end of it.
Pop culture references and a mystery
THE SOUND OF US is filled with pop culture references of the past two decades, some you'll recognize, some are stand-ins, and it's a delight to read. I especially loved Kiki's tendency to compare every new person she meets to some character from a TV show. Her love for twitter and the fictional TV show Project Earth are only small factors that contribute to making Kiki an insanely relatable character. I rooted for her from the first page. I loved reading about her experience. Hammerle writes about university with pizzazz. She makes it exciting.
What really got me hooked is the mystery of the traitor. I just loved that twist to the story, because on its own the music program storyline is entertaining, but maybe not really enough for a recommendation. Hammerle turns the novel around halfway in and make it read like a fast-paced mystery, while still being true to that university feel that I love so much about the novel.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
THE SOUND OF US has something for everyone - there's romance, there's singing, there are relatable university experiences, and there's a mystery. What more could you want from a contemporary?
Genre: YA / Contemporary
"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."(Source: Goodreads)