It’s three weeks into the school year when music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with her mysterious, heartbreaking ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a plan to win him back, but it soon spins out of control as rivalries, revelations about him, and music itself all start to collide. For Casey the newfound attention means learning the difference between wanting center stage and actually being on it.
Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Page Count: 220
Source: My copy.
For me, Casey Barnes Eponymous was a quick spontaneous read that I found, bought, and read all in the span of a couple hours. Which is weird because I’m usually really cautious about “music” novels. Mostly because they have let me down in the past. But Casey Barnes Eponymous was very charming. And the cover is so cute. I love it.
Casey Barnes is one of those characters that you wish you had for a friend. She’s this indie kind of girl who is very original and unique, and generally wonderful to be around. She’s hilarious. She had me laughing out loud several times throughout the course of this novel. Her vocabulary is very advanced for a teenager – she doesn’t ever say anything that makes you, as an adult, think, what the hell is she talking about – yet she doesn’t know what a narcissist is when the idea of one presents itself. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with her.
The novel was a bit predictable, at least where Leigh was concerned, but then again it wasn’t. And I think that’s my biggest complaint with it. Like every other character known to man, Casey makes mistakes – because I guess the novel wouldn’t be interesting if someone didn’t make mistakes, right? (I beg to differ) – but Casey’s mistakes are so out of character for her. So much that they are unbelievable. I found myself thinking, why would she do that? I mean, I see Casey as this strong, independent girl, and yet she let’s this asshole manipulate her time and time again. I could see once – fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me kind of thing – but she keeps running back to him and jeopardizing her other friendships. It’s just so unlike her that I found myself disliking her at these points in the story rather than reveling at her development as a character.
She makes up for it in the end, thankfully, and the story ends on a good note. Other than the aforementioned shortcomings with Casey’s character, I really did love this novel. I enjoyed reading about all the supporting characters (except the asshole of course), and loved how strong and independent they all were. They never ventured from their true selves and I really felt like I could connect with them. Everyone was unique, yet were all very normal. I could definitely picture myself being a part of this world.
In a sense, the playlists seem like an added bonus, but I don’t think this novel would have been the same without them… Casey wouldn’t have been the same without them. They made Casey and this novel charming. Though I didn’t know of all the bands mentioned, I was able to connect with a lot of them which made this novel that much more relatable.
I could probably go on about the independence of this novel and its characters and how much it stood out for me from all the similarities found in YA today such as terrible vocabulary, over the top teen angst, or personality-less characters, but I think you all get the point. It really was a great book.