“I loved being a burrito.
Not the actual costume, a stinky ankle length tube of compressed foam with scratchy shoulder straps. No, I loved the physical act of being a burrito - more precisely, of getting people to notice me - and i was good at it.”
Chloe’s life may not be perfect, but she’s got a few things sorted out. She enjoys her saturday job, dressed up as a burrito, handing out flyers on the towns busiest road, always showing off a pair of vintage shoes in the process. Then just after winter break she goes to lean into the car of her best friend, Brie, and gets stung. Brie’s mad at her, raging mad, and Chloe doesn’t know why. Returning to school Chloe is stared at and whispered about but she has no clue what’s happening. Then Chloe meets her new guidance counselor, and things go from bad to worse. Her Junior Independent Study Project is axed and she is forced to help with promo on the schools radio station - the radio station Chloe didn’t even know about, where a bunch of outsiders struggle to let her in.
I knew when I first heard about Welcome, Caller, that I would love it. I love a fun, fast paced contemporary story, especially when it comes with vintage shoes! I started reading and although the first few chapters were kinda “what the heck is going on?” I was hooked and needed to carry on.
The plot of the story is really good, it adds a lot of depth and layering and even though its not quite realistic, or at least wouldn’t have been in my secondary school, I really enjoyed it. Chloe is little miss perfect and I really loved the way Clem called her a skater; someone who skates through life with a few minor bumps and bruises but pretty much always ends up with the good side of things. Its really true when it comes to Chloe and there are people like that so that didn’t bother me at all. I really did feel for Chloe in the opneing few chapters though because everything was a rather huge mess and I really wanted to know what had happened between her and Brie but Chloe didnt know herself. I really thought Brie was childish too, even if she was going through some crap of her own.
I loved the insight into growing up that this book gives. The girls and guys involved are in their junior year of high school so they are around 16-17 and thats a major time for transition in anyones lives. I love the relationship changes and the growing pains that happen in this book and I really love its take on thinking only for yourself. I know teenage girls can be very selfish but there are some in this book that really take the piss and I loved that the event made Chloe think twice about herself and the way she comes across.
The characters were brilliant. I was sad we didnt see more of them. Chloe’s other best friend, Merce, made a few appearances and I really liked her but I thought she was too draged into what Brie was saying and she could have been a little nicer to Chloe towards the beggining of the book. Grams was hilarious and lovely and I want her as my grandma! The radio lot were really cool and I especially loved Hayley. I loved that there were all outsiders but stuck together because of what the radio station gave them and although Clem was a right bitch at times I still really loved her character the whole way through the book. Duncan was also a kick ass character and I felt so bad for him. He’s a classic example of what its like to go through life on your own and still try and find the good in things. I loved his obsession with fixing things and how it mirrored Chloe’s fascination with fixing people. Chloe’s character was really interesting. At first I found her quite shallow and vain but as the book went on I really grew to love her and admire her. The shallow and vainness wasn’t actually there, it was just how she came across to those who didn’t understand her.
I really would recommend this book. Its a little predictable but lots of fun and I think the author played on the predictability of it a little so the reader doesn’t mind so much, if you get me! I really loved every minute of Welcome, Caller and I’m sure others will too!
Welcome, Caller, this is Chloe is due for release in the UK on May 1st. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by Amulet Books, the publisher.