A Little Wanting Song
by Cath Crowley
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords. . .
CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she's good at it. But she only sings when she's alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus's Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie's mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she's visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She's got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she's not entirely unspectacular.
ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie's grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can't wait to leave their small country town. And she's figured out a way: she's won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose's ticket out.
A Little Wanting Song had been reviewed recently on several blogs I read, and I put it on my Wish List to possibly read some day. But I was convinced, without a doubt, that I needed to read this book after reading a thoughtful review on Persnickety Snark. I was so happy when I found it a the library, but now, having finished it, I think it is a book that I will want to have a copy for my very own.
Cover: The girl pictured pulls you in like she is looking right at you and she has something to tell you. Even though she appears somewhat guarded, with her hair covering her eye and her shoulder shrugged, you want to find out she has to say. The decorative splatters and flowery curly-cues represent the perspectives of Rose and Charlie, but I wish that two girls were featured on the cover.
Favorite Line/Quote/Scene: Charlie is in Rose's room for the first time and is looking around seeing there is more to Rose than she had thought. Rose confesses, "I've never been to the ocean. I want to go there. Go to the city. Go somewhere that leads places." Charlie knows the same desperation that Rose feels and she tells her that she will go someday. Rose asks her, "How do you know?" (Charlie) I look at her poster and think about it. "Because you want to." (page 79) I love this scene and what they say to each other because they are both opening up themselves to a new friendship that they both have been afraid to even considering having.
I don't think I can adequately express how much I love this book. A Little Wanting Song is one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long time. The confusion of familial dynamics and the desire to want something more for yourself is something that will resonate with many readers as it did with me. There were so many moments that caught my breath, where I held my breath and that took my breath away. And there where moments when the book was laugh out loud funny. Charlie and Rose both are have distinct voices, and I wanted the best for both of them all along the way. There were times when Rose didn't have the best motives for her friendship with Charlie, but she never was the Mean Girl that Charlie thought she was.
Of all of the books about summer that I read this summer, A Little Wanting Song was the best one to end it with.