Wednesday, June 15, 2016

5 Reasons I Acquired THE SOUND OF US

5 Reasons I Acquired THE SOUND OF US

When THE SOUND OF US came to me in my submissions pile and I started reading, it grabbed me by the heart. I just had to be the one to acquire it and publish it, and here's why:

  1. Voice. As soon as I read the opening page, I could feel Kiki's personality. Sarcastic, full of pop culture references, a little insecure with confidence occasionally bubbling over. Julie Hammerle so clearly showed the reality of coming of age--caught between so many opposites, having strong opinions but second-guessing, being a little jaded but also wildly optimistic. I felt like I was inside the mind of a real person and watching her personality unfold with every page.
  2. Nerdy girls! Kiki loves her Twitter. And if you follow me on Twitter, you know I love that. Kiki also is a wonderfully passionate and analytical fangirl, throwing herself into TV shows and movies that she loves regardless of whether it's cool (which it totally is). I love characters who love something passionately because it says so much about who they are, and Kiki isn't afraid to love what she loves, and learns to embrace it with balance and pride throughout the story.
  3. Romance. I love compelling romance, but YA doesn't have to all be romance, and not everyone finds true love in high school. Sometimes there are multiple people we might be interested in, and sometimes it's difficult to sort out why we like someone, or we struggle with liking someone we shouldn't. Falling in love is messy, and real, and sometimes terrible, but also wonderful and hilarious. And without telling spoilers, Kiki's experience with dating and relationship in this book grabbed me with its realism and heart. 
  4. Music. Writing about music can be so difficult because we can't actually hear the performances and what's happening. So much of the appeal of Pitch Perfect is the talent-- hearing the music and performances. And in The Sound of Us, I could hear it on the page. Julie Hammerle knows opera, and she knows music camps, having sung classical music from a young age, and it shows!
  5. Friendship. Friendships are such a influential and important part of any age, but especially so in our young adult years. And core to this book is female friendship-- the scars, the acceptance, the support and community and identity that friendships always bring. And again, Julie shows this so well it feels real. I became friends with Kiki and her friends, and I think you will, too.

So what's The Sound of Us about?

 Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.

She's put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she's got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University's music program.

Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can't happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she's ever sung.

But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki's going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.

Author Bio: 
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana. You can find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or her newsletter, which you can sign up for on her website.

Giveaway Info:  $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Dubsmash Contest Grand Prize: 
  • A paperback copy of The Sound of Us by debut author Julie Hammerle
  • A box of Nutty Bars, which are prominently featured in the novel
  • A DVD of High School Musical, so you can watch the movie repeatedly to perfect your dubsmash abilities

How to enter the Dubsmash Contest? Create a dubsmash video on the Dubsmash app, the app, or upload it to your YouTube Channel of any song from Camp Rock, High School Musical, or Pitch Perfect. 

Email in your video to between May 30, 2016 and June 29, 2016 @ 11: 59 pm EDT for the first, mandatory entry into the contest, and then add one of several other ways to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below to increase your odds of winning! While we welcome all videos, only US residents are able to win the Grand Prize. 

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