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.
Charlie and Rose were definitely unique main characters. They had such different personalities it was hard to believe they eventually became friends. Charlie was a quiet, music loving girl that had never had a boyfriend and lived alone with her father after her mother passed away. On the other hand, Rose was rebellious and anxious to leave the small town she’d grown up in. Her two best friends, Luke and Dave, were also huge characters in the book. Luke, her boyfriend, was a rebel and didn’t always know what was best for Rose, but they were perfect together. Dave, a sweet and caring guy, was a great friend to both of them.
In the beginning, when Charlie first arrives in Rose’s hometown, you can feel the tension between the two. Rose doesn’t want anything to do with Charlie and Charlie just wants to play her guitar, even though she secretly wants to be excepted into Rose’s triangle. It was awful the reason Rose first befriends Charlie; as a way to leave and go to the city at the end of the summer, but as the novel progresses Rose is surprised at how much she likes Charlie and wants to actually be friends with her. Rose has a lot to learn about trust and honesty and she is forced to realize this many times over the course of the novel. I loved her chapters because it was good to be able to see her perspective on things and understand her feelings.
Of the two, Charlie was my favorite. She was an ordinary girl who didn’t brag about her amazing talent (singing and playing the guitar). In addition to having a hard time making friends, Charlie had no relationship with her father who was still mourning his wife’s death so many years before. Charlie was a little too trusting of Rose at first, but really started to love her, Luke, and Dave. They were a great group of friends. As the novel progresses Charlie and Dave start to have feelings for each other and I loved watching their relationship grow and develop. Dave and Charlie were perfect for each other; both sweet and caring, yet a little quiet. Dave had his own problems with his father, so could relate to Charlie in that sense.
A Little Wanting Song is so much more than what I discussed above. The plot shows the importance of family, friendship, love, and trust. It proved how being yourself is the best way to be. Charlie, Luke, Dave, and Rose were a fantastic and well developed set of characters and the connection between Rose and Luke and Charlie and Dave was realistic and fantastic. The ending tied everything together and everything turned out the way it should. I’m so glad American readers now have a chance to read Cath Crowley’s fantastic debut. It will remain in my head for a long time.
PS- the song lyrics included in this novel were beautiful and extremely well done. LOVED them!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars