The melody told them a story I couldn't.
My story.
In all its raw and unrehearsed glory.

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About:

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . .

In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.

I am pleased to announce that Amplified won the Oregon Spirit Book Honor Award this year, and it has been nominated for a YALSA's Quick Pick.

Praise:

"Jasmine will have readers in her corner from the first flip remark out of her mouth, and Kelly's (Harmonic Feedback) background in music is evident in her electric descriptions of Jasmine's evolution as a performer."-Publishers Weekly

"A treat for industrial-rock lovers; a pleasant summer read for others."-Kirkus

"...an engaging story about a girl following her musical dreams, and readers will be drawn to Jasmine's wit."-Booklist

"Jasmine is a talented guitarist and a hard worker, but her almost crippling stage fright and defensive attitude create barriers that could end her dream before it starts. She is realistically imperfect but likable, and, with time, she convinces her bandmates and herself that she is much more than a spoiled wannabe."School Library Journal

"...Éreaders will be rooting for her [Jasmine] and her newfound family to make it big."-BCCB

"......inspiring, heartwarming, and engaging."-VOYA

"Impossible to put down, readers will thrum to the rhythm of disaster, recovery, lies and truth. It is a compelling and remarkable combination."-Tasha Saecker, Appleton Public Library

"Funny yet not shying away from raw emotion, Amplified blends solid writing and an original story line with unique and fantastically well done characters."-A Good Addiction

"I'm not a one-sitting reader, but I got through Amplified in one sitting because it was easy to do. I was lost in the story and in Jasmine."-Stacked Books

"Amplified is an absolute MUST READ! The trials and tribulations that Jasmine goes through will tug at your heart."-The Readiacs

"Luckily for everyone (especially me!) Amplified is a powerful and just darn good story. It's the perfect follow-up for me."-YA Librarian Tales

"I read Amplified very quickly because the plot moved fast and I wanted to see if Jasmine would have what it takes to make the band."-Simply Books

"This book will definitely stand out for me and will be one of those books that I could re-read time and time again."Just Another Book Addict

"AMPLIFIED is definitely going on the list of my favorite YA novels. It is so powerful and gorgeous. Kelly has become an auto-buy for me."IB Book Blogging

"Thrown into such life-challenging situations, the reader can witness for themselves how irrevocably engaging Kelly's writing soon comes to be. She takes being an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent to a whole new level."ChicaReader

"Amplified is a quick, highly recommended read for lovers of contemporary young adult fiction, one that will likely keep readers up late just so they can discover for themselves how close Jasmine comes to attaining her dream."Supernatural Snark

Q&A:

Have some questions about the book? Check out the Q&A below or ask me a question on Formspring!

What inspired you to write AMPLIFIED?

I'm a musician and a huge music-lover so naturally I've always wanted to write a story about a band. Band practice alone is ripe with conflict. Lock people with very different personalities in a hot room and tell them to write a song. What happens? Chaos and magic.

Will there be a sequel to AMPLIFIED?

I would LOVE to do a sequel (the original plan was for a series), but it depends on how well Amplified does and whether or not readers want another story. If you're interested in another story, definitely send me an email or send a tweet to @mackidsbooks!

Are you anything like Jasmine?

In some ways. I tend to approach my guitar playing like she does, and I also have terrible stage fright. I'm afraid to say mine never went away, which is why I much prefer being a studio musician/producer over performing. But there's a little of me in all of the band members. I adore simplicity and sarcasm, like Sean. I'm a prankster, and I love to tease people, like Veta. I love cheese almost as much as Felix does, but I can't come near the portions he eats. I've also been known to, um, get mad at my computer. And I can be hot-headed about things, like Bryn. Patience is a virtue I'm still learning.

Was your first live experience like Jasmine's?

Here's something musicians learn early on. If something can go wrong onstage, it probably will. And this goes for MOST shows. If you screw up, just keep playing. Learning to laugh at yourself is key, as well.

Spoiler Q&A:

Why didn't we learn more about the other band members? Why is Bryn such a player? Has he ever been in love?

See above. I'd love to do another book that focuses more on the other band members. However, this was Jasmine's story--we learned about them through her eyes and the story takes place in a very short time period. She didn't yet have a close relationship with everyone in the band. In fact, I wouldn't call Jasmine and Bryn friends at all. They'd just finally learned to respect and tolerate each other. So, I think it would be pretty unrealistic if she knew those answers about Bryn. He's a pretty closed-off guy, even to his friends.

Why didn't Jasmine resolve things with her dad?

I stay true to my characters, probably to a fault. Jasmine and her father's relationship is complex, and they are both extremely stubborn. It wasn't something that was going to be fixed in a month's time. So, tying their relationship up with a neat bow would've felt cheap and inorganic to me. I don't care for stories with forced happy endings--just so things can be 'resolved'. Some parent and child relationships are NEVER resolved. Others take years and lots of therapy to heal. I think Jasmine and her dad came to the point where they agreed to disagree, but they were attempting to still have a relationship, regardless. That's a pretty big step for those two.

I wanted Sean and Jasmine to get together! Will it ever happen?

I did, too! But as I said above, I don't care for endings that resolve things in an unrealistic way...just to have a happy ending. Think about it this way. Would you want to get into a relationship with someone who wasn't ready? Who wasn't emotionally available yet? Jasmine is a girl who guards her heart because she's been hurt a lot. Sean knows that. Despite me WISHING for that walk-into-the-sunset ending, I do think they made the right choice. The healthy choice. As for the second question...we'll just have to see :)