Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
What is the soundtrack of your life?

After living in twelve places in eight years, Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Another new home, another new school...Calle knows better than to put down roots. Her song journal keeps her moving to her own soundtrack, bouncing through a world best kept at a distance.

Yet before she knows it, friends creep in-as does an unlikely boy with a secret. Calle is torn over what may be her first chance at love. With all that she's hiding and all that she wants, can she find something lasting beyond music? And will she ever discover why she and her mother have been running in the first place?


Going into Songs for a Teenage Nomad I had no idea what to expect. The summary is pretty vague and I hadn't read too many reviews. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it, and can't wait to start recommending it.

Calle was a fantastic and well rounded main character. She wasn't perfect and she didn't care what anyone thought about her. I felt bad for her- she had been through so much. Moving all the time, her mother's multiple marriages, never being able to settle down and make friends. When Calle and her mother move once again, this time to Andreas Bay, Calle finds herself feeling more accepted than ever. She finally found a terrific group of friends who understand and love her. Drew, Alexa, Eli… the drama kids were awesome and each of them stood out to me in different ways. I also really liked Sam and Cass, two characters so different than each other and Calle, but somehow they all connected.

Each of the characters had a lot more going on than it first appeared, especially Sam and Cass. I felt for all the characters and what they were going through, not one of them had an easy life. For Calle, her mother was trying to forget her dad and never told Calle anything about him. Her mom was a sweet and determined person, and I could tell she only wanted the best for her only daughter.

The plot was original and different. There was a lot going on and by the end everything tied together really well. Each of the characters learned a lot about themselves and each other, Calle especially. The ending was very satisfying, but emotional, but I think it was the only way things could have worked out.

One of my favorite parts of Songs for a Teenage Nomad was all the song references. Calle and her mother were music junkies so every chapter started with some song mention and lyrics, artists, etc were brought up throughout the novel.

Overall, I’m so glad I had a chance to read and review Songs for a Teenage Nomad. With an original plot, great characters, and fantastic writing- this book is for everyone. I can’t wait to see what Kim Culbertson writes next!

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

September 7, 2010/Sourcebooks Fire/256 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books by this author: Instructions for a Broken Heart


  1. This sounds charming. I am always a little envious of stories with so much music incorporated in...I'm a philistine about these types of things, myself. Nice review - I'll have to check it out!

  2. Thanks for posting this review. It is definite a book I will have to check out. I love when music is incorporated into novels. I do believe that there are certain songs that become part of the soundtrack of our lives.

  3. Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

    I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


  4. After this glowing review, I HAVE to check this out. I don't have much (or any) experience with Sourcebooks, but this one seems like a win for them. :) I love books with the song junkie theme, and it sounds like a good take on it.

  5. This sounds like a really interesting read. Thanks for the great review!

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  6. I was kind of iffy about this book but you've change my mind. I'll check it out.


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