A Little Wanting Song Reviewed By Amy Lignor of
Amy Lignor

Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles.  She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books.  She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben

By Amy Lignor
Published on June 19, 2010

Author:  Cath Crowley
ISBN:  978-0-375-86096-6

The author does a beautiful job of explaining different cultures, and the old adage that "the grass is always greener."

Author:  Cath Crowley
Rose and Charlie are about as different as two teenage girls can get...or, at least that's how it seems on the surface of things.  Charlie lives in a city and goes to a large school.  Her life has the requisite hustle and bustle; Rose, on the other hand, lives in a very rural village with nothing to do but (as my grandfather always said) watch the leaves fall and the cars rust). 
At the beginning of this beautifully-written story, Charlie is in a car headed to the rural town where her grandfather lives.  In the car with her is her father - a professional chef who has lines of people standing outside his restaurant begging for his food.  She also has her mother in the car, but her ghost is something that only Charlie can see and hear.  She feels out of place...always has.  She's a quiet girl who want nothing more than to talk to her two best friends - her deceased mother and grandmother - and write songs to play them on her guitar that she always carries with her like a security blanket.  Dad has taken time off work to go help grandpa - to see if the old man is doing okay, help him with his small store and cafe, and try to breathe some life back into a man who has lost his true love.
Rose is sitting on the hill looking down on the highway.  It''s where she always sits, seeing the people flee her small town and look forward to the road in front of them.  She is a girl who feels stuck in a life that she doesn't want, trying to get some kind of future for herself that would take her far away from her small world.  The one thing she really enjoys is her teacher at school.  Rose has studied hard and she loves to do well.  She's done so well, in fact, that she's won a scholarship to go to a big city school for her last two years.  She is so excited, but her mother puts the kybosh on her dreams fairly quickly.  Mom is the manager of a trailer park, and wants her daughter to quit school like everyone else, get married, have kids, and settle for the rural way of life.
When Rose sees Charlie's car coming into town, she remembers the girl from previous years when she visited her family.  Rose never liked Charlie.  She always seemed like such a strange girl - never opening her mouth; staring at Rose and her friends; and, walking through town with that guitar on her back like some wayward folk singer.  But this year is different.  This year, in Charlie, Rose sees a ticket out of the boring, mundane horror of her own life - she sees a friendship ready to be formed so that she can hitch a ride to the big city.
Luke is Rose's boyfriend, and Dave is her best friend.  Luke is one of those boys that you love, but you also wish had more to offer the world than cutting school and bad jokes.  Although she cares for him, he is a boy that will be eternally stuck in the small, nowhere town because he has no ambition or desire to see anything else the world has to offer.  So, not only will Rose have to leave Luke eventually - she'll also have to find a way to tell him without breaking his heart.  Dave, her best friend, is a tad bit different.  He's quiet and shy, yet the handsomest boy in town.  And soon Dave finds himself attracted to Charlie - wanting at times to tell her that he believes his best friend Rose is just using Charlie "to get out of town."
The author does a beautiful job of explaining different cultures, and the old adage that "the grass is always greener."  Being from a horribly small town in rural CT, myself, I completely understood the way Rose felt.  In fact, she had even more than I did because I would've had to walk at least fifty miles to even find a highway out of my little snow-ridden corner of boredom. :)  The lovely relationships between father and daughter; granddaughter and grandfather; the heart of the family as members go up to heaven and leave the rest behind to fend for themselves; young love; the start of a tentative friendship - all of these components are done so well that you find yourself immediately identifying with one or more of the characters right off the bat.  This is one YA that will speak to adults, and is a powerful story that teaches us all to enjoy life and never stop looking forward to the road ahead.  Enjoy!

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