Charlie is the quiet type of girl who is awesome at singing the blues but can never get up on stage to show it. She can't even sing in front of her dad. She was nine when her mom died. Her father has never gotten over it. He went from cool quiet everything under control to just quiet and never around. Whenever she tries to talk to him about something important he looks at his hands and gives her money so she'll go away. She used this so she can get some recording equipment and she hauls it all with her to her Grandfather's for the summer. She works at a music store and sometimes gets singing lessons from one off the owners as well as guitar lessons from the other. The book has songs in the pages so you get sort of the feel of what she is like and what she sounds like even if it's only in your head.
Rose is always with her boyfriend Luke and friend Dave. Luke is always getting in trouble and Dave and her always get dragged down with him. Dave more than anyone because his dad has always given him a hard time... Well Rose wants more than anything to get away to the city. She got this scholarship to go to this science school but she never can tell her parents. Her parents who are going nowhere fast. Who gave up in life. She wants so bad to leave even if it means leaving Luke and Dave. She gives Charlie a hard time because all she does is stare at the group. But this "summer" which is during Christmas time??? It's Australia but I still don't understand. Well this summer she's figured out a way to get out of this miserable old town. She's going to make friends with Charlie. She'll be doing her a favor. She's going with her when she leaves.
Charlie is beyond likable. I was always angry at Rose because IF SHE DARED HURT HER! She would be in some real trouble with me. I mean she has like no friends and is just dangerously shy. Her two "ghosts" that follow her are her Grandma and Mom. She talks to them and it's so sad because those are the only two she could ever really talk to and now they're gone. Her father was killing me. NOTICE YOUR CHILD. I would be suffering too though. Seven years and I know I would be like him but seriously if I had a kid I hope I wouldn't act so stupid all the time.
God Rose. Finally I started liking you because you actually saw her. You were very irritating you know. Dave was cool. He was so sweet. I LOVE him. And then he's hurting too and you want to give him and Charlie a big old hug. I absolutely loved this book. It was beautiful. I think it's going to be in my favorites pile. It's that good. Read this book. You will fall in love too.
"Who's this?" Dad asks when a catchy tune comes on the CD mix I made for the trip. We pass the skeleton tree that never has leaves, no matter what the time of year. Bare gray branches wave us on. "No one you know Dad," I say. It's me.
I looked up from that other place and saw Dave staring through the glass. I thought: That guy is a little gratitude, world peace, a new acoustic guitar, a bass guitar and hands that play like Flea, and the single "Break Your Heart" all at once. He smiled and waved. I'm sick of staring at what I want, I thought. I'd do anything to hold it in my hands.
"Tell me about the sharks, Rosie," Dave said, trying to cheer me up. "Well, you can't tell how dangerous they are from their size. That's all wrong. The big ones don't always feed on meat." "How do you tell a dangerous one?" he asked. "Their teeth." "So what, you ask them to smile?" "If you're stupid enough to come close and see them smile," I said, thinking of Luke, "then you deserve everything you get."
She looks at me and at Dave. She looks out the curtain and strums her guitar. "Yeah," she says. "Oh yeah. This I can do."