Grade: 4.5 / 4.8 stars out of 5
Charlie Duskin sings to herself in the dark. Charlie Duskin lost her bikini top at a party and a big part of her self-confidence. Charlie Duskin lost her mother 7 years ago. She lost her grandmother a year ago. She’s just trying to find herself.A Little Wanting Song leaves the reader wanting a little more after finishing. It was only when I finished the novel and got up to leave did I realize that Charlie, Rose, and the rest of the gang got up and followed me as well. A Little Wanting Song is a haunting song because it describes every person.
Rose Butler watches the car drive pass her little town. She wants to go with them and leave this town for the city. Every Christmas break Charlie comes to town to help her grandfather with the shop and leave after a few weeks. This time, Rose wants to go with Charlie when she leaves.
I feel like Charlie's and Rose's friendship is one that I've been through countless times. As horribly as it may sound there is typically an a reason why I talk to a person: curb my loneliness, asking for an answer, a piece of gum (not yet though lol). Rose's motive is a lot bigger and a lot harsher than mine, but it balances out when readers realize what Charlie is getting. But the friendship works because it grows and the two girls learn! It was a give and take relationship that balanced out so well with the emotional gravity that both girls face.
Rose hates her small town and loves the city. Her presence and energy is made for the busting life. Charlie is someone from the city yet her mousy personality fits in to the quaint town. These two girls cannot be more than opposite with different family circumstances. Rose's family is protective and can be smothering. Charlie's mother died and her father is so distant that a hug is beyond awkward. They want what the other have. It puts the "grass is greener on the other side" into perspective in this dual narrative novel, frankly speaking both lives "suck" on some aspects. The subject of talking things through plays a large role in A Little Wanting Song and it's evidently clear because music is a symbol in the novel.
Charlie is the person that I believe most readers will draw to. Readers will empathize to the little girl with her big voice, but will envy he artistic qualities. She writes and sings her songs and does it well too! She's such a dynamic character that explodes on the pages.
The romance in the novel is tentative and light. I'll just leave that as it is.
Cover B-/C+: I like it yet at the same time I don't think it fits perfectly with the novel. Unless you consider that term where people see colors and hear music in everything and leaves confuses me.
Source: won from Cath Crowley / review copy from Knopf Books shows up several days later *head palm* (gonna do something with the extra copy, just wait)
Published: 2010, June 8; hardcover