Kallie Echo is starting to think dreams are dangerous. Her dad had one—to be a rock star—and then he died. Now Kallie is practically homeless and her life is falling apart. So when a punk band asks Kallie to sing for them, she must decide if she's got the heart to front a band of rocker chicks (and one trans guy). Can she find a new purpose in punk? And will the drummer with the amazing smile break her heart?
The band goes on tour, and everything hinges on Kallie. It's a lot of pressure—especially when you throw in substance abuse and Kallie's deadbeat mom showing up at the worst time. Kallie must learn to trust her friends, and herself, if she's going to get over the past and make a new future. But if she dares to dream again, will she lose it all?
Kallie Echo, 18, still reeling from the recent death of her father, now has to figure out how to keep her Vancouver home in Carter's debut novel, part of the Orca Soundings series, written at a fourth-grade reading level. Then Kallie is asked to join her friend Jamie's all-girl punk band; before long, she is romantically entangled with Jamie, who is transitioning to life as a man. Despite some hiccups, the band starts to take off, but while readers will be drawn in by Carter's electric descriptions of performing ("I opened my mouth... and pressed my lips to the mic, kissing the crosshatched metal.... A surge of power rose in my gut"), those excited by the tender trans love story that develops will likely be disappointed by the melodramatic and violent ending. Ages 12 up.