Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly is another book I had been meaning to read for a while that became a prod from Allison to read now. And I am so glad that she pushed it so hard because OhMyGosh! This book is amazing and if you haven't read it yet you are so missing out and you need to go buy a copy right now because it shouldn't have to wait any longer and OhMyGoodness it's just so good! *deepbreath*
Drea is different. She has ADHD and a touch of Asperger's (on the Autism spectrum). But she's not that different. She processes the world differently from most people and a lot of social cues completely escape her, so it makes it harder to trust people and feel comfortable acting naturally around them. So up until now, she hasn't really had any friends. But her mom drags her to live with her grandmother (Drea is very opposed to this) but it is here that Drea meets both Naomi and Justin, people who will become very important to Drea.
Because Drea is our main character, we get to know what she is thinking and how she interprets things and it was fascinating. She's very high functioning and her diagnosis is actually for a 'touch of Asperger's'. So mostly, for Drea it translates into not understanding why people do a lot of what they do and being completely blunt. She has pretty much zero tact. She doesn't process it or understand it the way most people do. It was so refreshing to read a character who was blunt, but not cruel. Drea has a hard life. She's just this side of 'normal', so it's extra frustrating for her and those around her. It would be so hard to be put into situations again and again when you don't understand the nuances.
But the book isn't really about Drea and her Asperger's/ADHD. It's a huge part of it, obviously, because it's a huge part of Drea, but it's about so much more than that. It's about learning to love and let people in (because normal or not, pretty much all teenagers have a hard time with that) and it's about acceptance and growing up and finding yourself. And Tara Kelly has mastered that. In Drea, she has created a character that everyone can connect to and love and understand, because everyone has felt like they don't belong or don't fit in at some point. It's a part of growing up and I loved watching Drea learn that she really does have a place.
The other characters in the novel and painfully complex as well. Naomi becomes Drea's first and best friend. She shows up when they are moving in and starts chatting with Drea and decides right then that she likes her and she just befriends her, no questions asked. She wasn't my favorite person. She's troubled and she's also a perfect example of why I have never had even a tiny bit of interest in drugs. And, she gets Drea into bad situations too. But no on is perfect and she does some amazing things for Drea. So while I didn't really like her, I loved her.
Justin is another awesome character and he's just a solidly good guy. He's the type of guy that is awesome, but could still be a real person. He's there for Drea and he doesn't really let her hide behind her diagnosis. He pulls her out of herself, makes her recognize that there is more to life and more to her than he thought.
There are also some journal entries included in the book, as yet another way to learn more about Drea and I loved that they were included. The last journal entry is by far my favorite and it was just... just... just so much amazing. And the music. Guys, it's another book that has a lot of music references and it was brilliant. I just loved everything about this book. Seriously. Oh, and also, how can you not just love a cover that shows a girl celebrating the rain. Love. And I feel like that girl is Drea.
This is a book that I will read and reread. I reread parts while writing this review and I just fell in love with the characters over again. This book just leaves you with this feeling of fullness, of rightness and truth. It's a beautifully written story and one of those books that makes you think, makes you feel.