A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords. . .
CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she’s good at it. But she only sings when she’s alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus’s Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie’s mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she’s visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She’s got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she’s not entirely unspectacular.
ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie’s grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can’t wait to leave their small country town. And she’s figured out a way: she’s won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose’s ticket out.
Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, Charlie and Rose’s “little wanting song” is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.
This is another Australian gem suggested to me by Trish Doller and Gail that I would have never read if it weren’t for the two of them. And shame on me for that. A Little Wanting Song (I have the tendency to say waiting for some reason) was an utterly enjoyable read about friendship and first love and growing up.
A Little Wanting Song is the story of Charlie Duskin, a shy girl that is good at one thing, music. With her grandmother’s recent passing and the grief of losing her mother years back, Charlie and her father go to the country to visit with her grandpa. But this visit will be different than any other visit Charlie can remember. With her father and grandpa still grieving Charlie starts spending time with the finicky girl next door, Rose Butler, who never wanted anything to do with Charlie in the past. But as the days go past and Charlie starts to break out of her shell and gets closer to Dave Robbie, the boy she has crushed on for years, Charlie finds out that Rose’s motives might not be as they seem and Rose will do anything to either get what she wants or to just be Charlie’s friend.
Have I mentioned that I loved this book? Because I did. The alternating voices of Rose and Charlie were the perfect way to go with this story as it showed their alternating personalities in a way that only two voices could. And as different as these girls were I loved getting to know them and I really liked them. Charlie seemed to blossom as she get herself open up and be herself and not so shy. She was weird like Dave told her time and time again, but she was a good weird, a weird that is interesting and makes you want to know more. And Rose on the other hand was a girl that was just trapped. She wanted to get out and was ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen, but as she started to open herself she started to realize that just because someone was different didn’t mean you couldn’t be friends with them. Both girls, over a few short weeks, blossomed and became this characters that are not easily forgettable and won’t be for a long time.
And Dave. Oh how I loved Dave Robbie. He was just this quiet, sidekick like guy, that would do anything for his friends even at his own expense. He didn’t mind being made fun of or being the third wheel with Rose and her boyfriend Luke. And he was this lanky, gorgeous thing that was humble about it. Watching him talk to Charlie was probably my highlight of the book because it was so awkward and uncertain but sweet and entertaining at the same time. He would often say the wrong thing or say something in the wrong way only to be told by Rose that he was messing up. It was really endearing.
Basically this book was just a bundle full of joy. It dealt with some heavier stuff, but Crowley’s writing made it not seem so emotional and you couldn’t help but root for these characters. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, but there is just something magical about Australian publications. A definite must read.