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.
“Since when is being alone a bad thing?”
When I read the first few pages of this book, I was instantly irritated with Chloe, but I was also amused with her. See, she is a part of this very popular clique in school and then Brie, one of her best friends, starts to spread some nasty rumors about her. Then suddenly, she was treated like an outcast in school. Nobody wanted to talk to her and she didn’t have anyone to turn to when she had problems. But Chloe was also a spoiled kid. She always gets what she wants, always gets all the attention and always loved by the people around her. I think this was the reason why she was so self-absorbed.
I think many readers will agree with me when I say that Chloe was an annoying brat in the beginning. All she thought of was her own little Chloe world. “Oh why are they ignoring me?” “Why didn’t they wait for me?” “Why don’t they like me?” I think it was all part of the process. You have to dislike Chloe so that you can like her later on.
So when her popular friends ditched her, she was stuck in the school’s radio station with the “outsiders” (that’s what Brie called them) as suggested by her guidance counselor for a mandatory project. And that’s when she met Duncan Moore, the guy who likes to fix things, but can’t fix his own mother who is clearly not walking on the right path. She’s a drug addict with a very irresponsible boyfriend. I really liked Duncan’s character because even though he didn’t know how to express his feelings, he made sure Chloe knew what exactly he felt about her. Because as what Chloe said, “Words were important, but as I was learning, so was silence.”
Another thing that I also liked about this story is that – Chloe’s maturity throughout the story. I thought I would stop reading after finishing the first few chapters, but Coriell also made Chloe’s character fun to read. Even though she was incredibly annoying, she was also funny and witty and she knew how to stand up for herself. She’s not afraid to say or express what she thinks or feels. She always had answers that made sense and she also genuinely cared about her family, especially her grandmother. She can always brighten up someone else’s day. I think halfway of the book, I started liking her. She was beginning to think of the people around her and she started appreciating the people at the radio station. She also cared more about her grandma, and she really was sweet to her. Even though there were constant fights between her mom and grandma, she always made sure that granny won’t feel too upset.
I just wish that the author also focused on the other characters, especially the ones at the radio station. I only knew so little about them, and they weren’t that relatable. With Duncan, I also wish I knew what happened in the beach, because I felt like it was not explained clearly. It would have been better if Dunc tried to explain what really happened, rather than leaving it as a mystery.
I loved the fact that shoes were like symbols to Chloe’s growth. At first, she was wearing fancy vintage shoes, and when she was depressed, she wore a more valuable pair. But there was a time wherein she wore this plain white Keds shoes and it symbolized her simplicity and that it was meant for walking, not for showing off, which is a big deal because in the beginning, Chloe wanted and craved for the spotlight, but towards the end, she knew the right time to do things.
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe is like a roller coaster ride of emotions. You’ll be annoyed, you’ll laugh, you’ll be irritated, you’ll fall in love but most importantly, you’ll learn. It’s not all about Chloe; it also tackled other issues as well, such as drug addiction, Parkinson’s, bullying and family problems. You will also discover that there is always a bright side to every dilemma, and there is always something to look forward to amidst the chaos in someone’s life.