Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe is a highly enjoyable debut by Shelley Coriell. The first person, bubbly narration reminds me of Sarah Dessen and Sara Shepard’s writing and Chloe is a character you can’t help but root for.
After Brie and Mercedes unceremoniously ditch her for seemingly no reason, Chloe is forced to deal with the consequences and hit to her reputation. In addition to this the school has a new guidance counsellor who is making her work at the school’s dying radio station as her junior project. Outside of school, her grandma is suffering with Parkinson’s and there are constant rows between her grams and her mother.
The radio station turns out to be a sanctuary to not only Chloe but all of its members and she is keen to try and save it. So she finds out what the students feel is missing, a talk show. And who better to lead than Mistletoe Queen Chloe herself to fill this role?
Chloe is a fun heroine, at times she wavers on annoying but I just couldn’t hate her (like a lot of characters in the novel) and she grows a lot throughout the course of the book. Chloe and the readers’ eyes are opened to how different and difficult the range of problems teenagers face are, Duncan in particular is an excellent example of this.
Duncan is a great romantic interest; he’s just the right mix of cool and loner and balances Chloe really well. He is also complicated and the subplots with her relationship with him are not rushed in the slightest and feel real, very real.
There is genuine humour in the novel, in particular through the character of beet-loving Clem, the radio station’s head and I loved the back and forth between them.
While this may not be the most serious or literary YA novel of 2012 so far, it is one of the most enjoyable and fun I have read. A perfect light read – I finished it in two sittings and think it’s well worth checking out Shelley Coriell has written an excellent YA debut novel.
My copy of Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe was provided courtesy of NetGalley and Abrams publishers. It is released tomorrow!