by Tara Kelly


When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she’s the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn’t think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . .
In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.

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Book #1 in Series

Help! I can’t get this silly grin off my face!

Yeah, this means that I loved this story! 😀
And no, I don’t really want it off – I kinda look cute with it.

Now back to our story..

There are books with deep messages that touch the bottom of my heart, but there are also books like this one, with simple meanings but with a great power to make me laugh, to make me dream, to make me hope, to fill my sleepless nights.

I love them all the same – some for making my heart ache, some for making my stomach flutter.
They all seem to bring to the surface all my deepest desires. They all seem to bring back lots of memories; all seem to make me feel like stepping back in time. They make me want to tell to my younger self: see, you could have done that, been that kind of person, done those crazy things.. let’s do them now!

Yes, sometimes I wish I could go back in time.. Be young again, have no worries, do something reckless, fall in love for the first time, make new friends, watch the ocean (not that I know how that feels), sing until someone begs me to stop, drop everything for a silly dream, fight for something I want with all my heart, maybe get drunk and kiss some boy I might like and not even be sorry when I’m sober.

You know what?…
I like books about following dreams and making them true no matter how many bumps you get in your road.
I like the optimistic vibe they give me, the hope that fills my heart, the sweet hum that fills my mind.. it’s like music to my heart.


This is a simple story, about a girl that all her life has been following the path her father had shown to her. Until one day when she wanted to try something different, be someone different.. be herself for the very first time.

Off course this now means that she has to find a place to live, a real job, and try not to upset (too much) her new friends to whom she has to lie to befriend in the first place.

Here we use to say something along these lines: that the lies have short legs and the truth catches up sooner or later. Not sure how do you say it in English but I am too lazy to search for it now, so my rough translation must do.
Same for the story..  if you lie that you are an experienced musician, you can’t expect people not to notice the truth at some point.. And what starts with a lie is a bit to shaky for you to feel like stepping on safe ground anymore.

“Sure, I had pretty high expectations. […] But I had nowhere to go but up. Why not aim as high as possible?”


Jasmine – What can I say about her?

She is stubborn, ambitious, witty, funny, strong at times but also vulnerable.
She needs love, friends, she needs to be accepted for what she really is (I might add that she needs some money now that she is on her own).

At the beginning we find her kicked out of her home because she wants to play music and not go to college – in fact I think that she was the one leaving just to make a point. Too bad that she has not enough money, no friends in sight (her only best friend is far-far away) and her car just broke down.

This leads us to her meeting the C-Side, a band searching for a guitarist. Wouldn’t be awesome if she found a place to stay and a band to make her dreams come true?

As a side note, I couldn’t hate her father, because even though he was a jerk with her, there were things that he teached her that I found usefull. Yes, I can’t imagine how could he sleep at night knowing that his daughter is in debt, on the street, but I simply couldn’t hate him even though I wanted to so much.

“Maybe I was being naive. Even stupid. I mean, who would trade Standford for being homeless? […] But I had to know if I was meant to be a musician. Otherwise I’d spend the rest of my life regretting it. Asking myself… what if?”

Sean is heartbroken and he holds it against the whole world.
I wanted to shake some senses into his cold heart, but I figured that it was quite numb to even feel it.

He wasn’t what I would call a jerk, but he was a bit rude at times, mostly with Jasmine whom caught him on the wrong foot. Still it felt like they both had this unspoken understanding and they could make fun of each other without getting mad. They were so cute I could have kissed them, I loved their moments, loved their friendship, loved them both.

Back to Sean I cared for him all through the story – I understand that it is hard to get over past loves. I wanted him to be stronger and get over it for once, but this kind of healing takes time, and this book makes it pretty clear.

What I loved the most was the interaction between him and Jasmine. From the very beginning they kept teasing each other, but you could see them enjoying it – a smile would appear on their lips or some shining in their eyes. They fell one for the other slowly, even though the attraction was there from the very beginning. I like this kind of rocky relationships that start with them pretending that they don’t give a rat’s ass about the other, but even they don’t believe it.

“Do yourself a favor princess. Work it out with Mom and Dad.”
“You know nothing about me or my situation.”
He leaned closer. “I’ll take a guess. Your parents wanted you to be someone you aren’t, so you’ve come here to express yourself and get that butterfly tatoo you’ve always wanted.”
His eyes didn’t move from mine. “Am I?”
“Completely.” I shoved past him. “I hate butterflies.”

The band

Bryn – was at times a bit of a perfect jerk, but I understand him. He has a lot to deal with regarding the band, he needs to make the best decisions and to have an escape route for every failure. He needs to keep them all together and look for the good of the band as an unit, so even though he seemed to have it agains Jasmine, he was only trying to do what was the best for the C-Side.

Felix – was a bit reserved on some ways but he kept speaking his mind in a cute, innocent king of way. He didn’t pamper anyone – if he had something to say he just let it go.

Veta – was nice and honest and a good friend and sister. She was beautiful, had a great voice and she knew it. She loved her mother and sister and she right-away considered Jasmine a friend of hers. Their bond was quick but strong, and it was great to see their friendship grow, even in the hard moments they went through with the band.
Also she got a bit involved in the relationship between her brother and Jasmine, but that only because she didn’t want any of them to get hurt, not after what happened between Sean and her old best friend (Amy).

More characters:

Even Zoe was a great addition to this book. Her first boy-crush was so damn cute, and her comments were priceless. I wish there had been more scenes with her.

Tina was one hell of a mother.. in the best possible way. She rocked. She was open minded and caring, and even though I didn’t buy the mind-reading I really loved her and her part.

Jason, Jasmine’s best friend, was was really nice too. I liked their phone conversations and I caught myself laughing too many times to count. They’ve been friends since the beginning of time, and distance was not getting between them which was really great. We should all have some great friends to make us feel better at our worst and/or to enjoy with them our happy moments.


This story was cute, cute, cute!
It’s more around 4.5 stars (the ending was a bit..not sure, it gave me hope, but I wanted more), still I’ll make it 5 because this book made me laugh like crazy ;)) Enjoy it!

Happy midnight reading!

Me having fun, geeky style:

Ari with Amplified glasses

No, I was not reading this book, just some eARC, but I do wish I had these on while reading it 😀

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11 responses to “Amplified”

  1. jenniferb says:

    stopping by from linky followers- please stop by and follow me.

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun, even if it wasn’t particularly mind-blowing. Still, books that are capable of making you smile and laugh are always fantastic. New follower! 🙂

    • Ari says:

      I am all for books that make me laugh – probably because what I love the most doing is ..laughing 🙂 And this one was great at doing just that.

  3. VeganYANerds says:

    Great review! I keep seeing this book on blogs and goodreads and I want to read it, especially if it’s a cute, fun read!

    • Ari says:

      It was a lot of fun reading this book. In fact I loved so much the humour, that now I can’t wait to read “Harmonic Feedback” (which I’ve been told that it’s even better)

  4. Wendy Darling says:

    Aw, it DOES sound cute cute cute! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, Ari. It sounds like a fun read.

    • Ari says:

      Yes, it is really cute, and Jasmine and Sean are so great and funny. I loved them from the moment they met, and I laughed out loud too many times to count 😉

  5. Maria Dung says:

    does anybody know where i can read this online?

  6. Guest says:

    I am halfway through this and really enjoying it even though I never really read man contemporary books.

    • Ari says:

      I read plenty of genres, it feels good to switch between them, even more so when stories then to blend with each other.

      AMPLIFIED was fun and I loved the characters, I want to befriend them all. I am really eager for the sequel (hopefully it will be released this year, because I’m holding my breath for it and I don’t know for how long I can still do that, LOL). Enjoy it!

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