AR Reading Level: 5.4
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
Recommended for: Grades 8+
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Calliope is a 15-year old who spends much of her life traveling with her mom from one Renaissance Faire to the next. Her mom is a wench (says so on her W-2!) and she also sells funky jewelry at the faires. Cal is used to moving from one town to another, often following men her mom has taken fancy to. Cal puts up with all the uncertainty, often living in tents.
Eliot is the son of an evangelist/fat camp director living in Asheville, North Carolina. He secretly (and illegally) makes fireworks. He spends much of his time disgusted with his dad making money selling God. He and his mother wish they could go back to their simpler life in Carolina Beach.
And, of course, Cal and Eliot meet and their lives change forever. I loved the scene where Cal and Eliot meet in the bookstore. Cal says she hears percussion instruments strike up in her head. As Eliot goes to leave she says:
The band keeps rocking in my head, but as I listen I realize that there is something else there, real soft underneath the crashing. I can't quite identify it, but it's there--a sustained note. It's something quiet and peaceful, and all I can do is smile and lift my hand because my brain is too busy throwing a party in my head to think of anything clever to say.This is a delightfully quirky teen love story. I love that it is set in my home state, and I could definitely feel the influence of the Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace that our family attended last year in Huntersville. I actually don't like the title and I don't like the cover art. But I love the format with alternating chapters where we get to hear Cal's and Eliot's voices.
Also reviewed by: The Book Nest ~ Tiny Little Reading Room ~ Not Enough Bookshelves ~ Your link here?