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, equally geeky drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts reporting singers who break conduct rules, music camp turns survival of the fittest, and people are getting kicked out. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her first real chance at something more—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
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Highly entertaining & emotional look at a pre-college opera program!
THE SOUND OF US by Julie Hammerle is a highly entertaining and emotional look at a girl named Kiki and her summer at a rigorous pre-college Opera program. This story hit particularly close to home for me as I attended Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College program for musical theater in between my junior and senior year of high school. Definitely brought back some wonderful memories and dug up some of the less comfortable ones, as well. I didn’t study Opera, so I’m not sure if the strictness about not singing other kinds of music is actually a thing… We were always encouraged to explore all areas of music—but musical theater is a bit more of a melting pot stylistically.
The characterizations were spot on and the plot was well structured. The romance was sweet, but I’m glad this story was ultimately more about Kiki than just falling for some boy. He was a useful tool for showing what her journey was really about. Hammer beautifully wrote an inspiring coming of age story about not only finding yourself, but discovering what it is that YOU want—not what’s expected of you or what other people want for you. Highly recommend!