Released: May 1st 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home. (from Goodreads)
Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe was a fun read that touched on quite a few more serious topics but still managed to stay upbeat and funny.
Chloe was just enjoying a normal high school life until her guidance counsellor started interfering, her best friends turned their backs on her and she started mingling with school’s radio station, staffed by people who seemed less than happy to be working with her. I could feel for Chloe, because her own friend, Brie, had done something awful and now she was stuck alone, working somewhere she didn’t want to all because her guidance counsellor thought it would be a good idea for her JISP (basically, her project for the year). Chloe was a...talkative sort of character. She basically didn’t shut up, which was why she was such a good radio host. She was unsure whether the show would take off after Brie had spread all the lies about her, but she proved to be popular with the other students who liked her bubbly and open personality. I did like Chloe but I felt like she could get carried away with things at times which could affect other people. However, I think her supposed friends treated her so unfairly, and couldn’t help but side with her throughout everything.
Duncan, the fix-it guy who worked on the technical side of things, was the only guy who really seemed to accept Chloe from the beginning, which I think was why Chloe took a liking to him. He had a really hard life; his mum was a drug-addict who dated guys who were no good, his home-life was awful and he didn’t really know how to act around other people, except the people at the radio station, who were the only ones he seemed to really trust. He seemed a bit closed off and didn’t really talk much, but it was understandable. I thought the relationship between him and Chloe was quite sweet – he didn’t exactly know what to say to her, and was awkward but you could tell he cared.
Clementine, who was basically the leader of the station, KDRS, was another character I liked. Even though she could be harsh and bossy and even insulting at times, she really cared about the station and everyone who worked there. She seemed like the type who was loyal to the people she loved and before Chloe, she was someone Duncan could turn to and trust with his problems. By the end, I think Clementine and Chloe became friends (no matter how much Clementine would deny it), and I was happy they were closer after everything happened. Clementine, to me, would be a much better friend than Brie, who I just thought was awful. I know Brie was having problems with her family, but what she did was inexcusable. She spread lies, one that was serious it could have ruined someone’s life, with no regard for what would happen later and how many people they could get into real trouble. She completely turned her back on Chloe because of a stupid crown at some dance and because Chloe ignore her for a while. I would understand being mad for a week or so, but how could she be so angry over something like that that she would go through such lengths to make Chloe unhappy? And I don’t even know why Chloe was considering making up with her after all that she did.
Plot-wise, the book was a bit slow to begin with, but once Chloe had settled down at KDRS things began to get more interesting. I loved Chloe’s radio family, but I think some of the characters needed more developments, such as Haley, Fric and Frac who we really didn’t get to know at all. I think the story revolving around Chloe’s grandma with Parkinson’s was handled quite well, but I think Chloe’s grandma gave some weird sort of advice sometimes! I liked the way the serious topics were mixed in with the drama about the radio station and all the humorous things too, because it made the story have depth while still being funny and even light-hearted.
Overall, I really enjoyed Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe and especially liked the way the radio played a big part of the story. Recommended to contemp fans.