Girl Out Loud

Girl Out Loud

3.8 7
by Emily Gale

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*Silent Scream!* Kass Kennedy is nobody's idol. She does forget the lyrics. She's not a gleek. The x factor? Not her! Read her lips: She has the right to remain silent. Just try telling that to her dad. Because he's totally lost it this time, demanding Kass audition for a TV talent show. Which would be slightly less than death-by-embarrassment if Kass could (duh!)


*Silent Scream!* Kass Kennedy is nobody's idol. She does forget the lyrics. She's not a gleek. The x factor? Not her! Read her lips: She has the right to remain silent. Just try telling that to her dad. Because he's totally lost it this time, demanding Kass audition for a TV talent show. Which would be slightly less than death-by-embarrassment if Kass could (duh!) actually sing. And if even the smallest part of her craved the spotlight. Stardom is her dad's dream, not hers. But he's so fragile, she's afraid he just might crack if she doesn't go through with his latest, craziest plan. Not helping: Her hopelessly MIA mom. The budding criminal mastermind also known as her kid brother. And amateur shrink Izzy and used-to-be-sweet Char, who've gone all frenemies over a boy in brown boots. (Don't ask.) It's only rock n' roll? If only! Inside, Kass is screaming, but no one is listening. How loud does a girl have to shout to be heard?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Kassidy Kennedy is average in every way, from her grades to her talents. It comes as no surprise, then, that singing is definitely not her strong suit. So when her bipolar father demands that she audition for the television show X Factor, she is none too excited about it. After failing over the years to get into both Mensa and the National Youth Orchestra, Kass has learned that she can no longer just go along with her father's schemes for glory and fame. To make matters worse, she discovers that the boy she has a crush on is the same guy that one of her best friends has liked for four years. With her younger brother, a criminal-in-training, and her oft-missing mother leading double lives, Kass has no one to turn to after a scary incident at a karaoke club. Gale does a good job of showing how bipolar disorder can affect not just those afflicted with it, but others around them as well. There are some heartfelt, realistic moments regarding Kass's struggle to cope with her father's illness. However, given all of her conflicts, the story tends to veer off into melodrama. With that said, Kass's humorous, self-deprecating tone and the touching moments make this an enjoyable read.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH
Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old Kass Kennedy, her mother, and her brother are ruled by the whims of Kass’s father, who they fear has a mild form of bipolar disorder. Anything can set him off: when he’s “On The Up,” sudden passions take over (the latest: he wants Kass to audition for Simon Cowell’s X Factor TV talent show). And something as small as a news report about a murdered local man can trigger depressive “Gray Tracksuit Days,” which can stretch for weeks or months. From the start, British author Gale, in her first YA novel, skillfully establishes the frustrating and unpredictable home environment in which Kass and her family feel trapped. Worse, Kass has no one to turn to: she barely communicates with her mother and younger brother; Kass’s two best friends, Char and Izzy, shut her out when Char’s long-term crush, Cassian, shows an interest in Kass; and even Cassian isn’t the ray of hope Kass initially believes him to be. It’s an emotionally draining and at times melodramatic story—readers will have no trouble feeling Kass’s unrelenting anxiety—leavened (somewhat) by Kass’s sarcastic humor. Ages 12–16. (June)
From the Publisher

"Difficult issues treated with intelligence and gentle humor. Complex, lovely, real."
-Jaclyn Moriarty

"Addictive. Original. True. I loved it." - Joanna Nadin

Children's Literature - Bonita Herold
Oh, no. Her dad is at it again—believing in her talent when none exists. But how can 15-year-old Kass say no to his obvious need for her to succeed? He's In the Up—better that than GTD (Gray Tracksuit Days), which can sometimes turn into weeks! If she refuses to try out for The X Factor, her dad will flip. Seriously. Trying to keep sane isn't working very well either. Besides the ceaseless boot camp of practices her dad puts her through, she has to deal with a boy and friends who are acting very weird. On top of everything else, her little brother's made a mess of his life, and her mom's turned traitor. Does Kass have to fix everything? Reading this book is like watching a train wreck. The carnage isn't pretty, and the reader is tempted to yell, "Tell someone how you feel!" But teens often keep things inside; it's the nature of the beast. Complex and real, as it deals with Kass trying to cope with the actions and reactions to a manic-depressive father, the story will appeal to teenage girls everywhere.
VOYA - Lynne Farrell Stover
Average-looking Kassidy Kennedy has little musical talent, limited academic abilities, and few friends. What this fifteen-year-old does have is a father with an undiagnosed bipolar disorder who will go to any extreme to promote his daughter's many gifts that only he seems to recognize. His newest scheme is to have her audition for a television talent competition where he is sure she will become an immediate star. Kassidy feels she must go along with her father's plans to keep him from spiraling into a depressive state. Kassidy tells her story with humor and thoughtful reflection as she relates the often-disturbing tale of friendships and family ties unraveling. Her family's damaging secrets, reckless behavior, and painful experiences teach her that she is not the only person experiencing conflict and being deceptive. While mental illness fuels the conflicts in the Kennedy household, it is the jealousy, infidelity, and self-absorbed behavior that almost destroy it. Kassidy's tale is engaging and there are students who will find it relatable and therapeutic. One of the delightful features of Kassidy's story is her imaginary conversations with the caustic media-mogul, Simon Cowell. This may prove to be a liability over time. Along with these entertaining references to social media and current popular entertainment figures comes the probability that this book's humor may quickly become incomprehensible and contextual references will be difficult to understand. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
Kirkus Reviews
A resolutely average teenager nearly collapses under the weight of her bipolar father's outrageous expectations. Kassidy's life in "deepest, darkest, dorkiest suburbia" would be manageable (the drudgery of her all-girls' high school and the unfairness of her brother Raff's ability to get away with petty criminality notwithstanding), were it not for her sense of responsibility to keep her mercurial father on an even keel. Over the years, she's gone along with his schemes for fame and recognition, submitting to testing to join Mensa and auditioning for a fish-sticks commercial as well as the National Youth Orchestra. But when Dad announces his intention to coach Kassidy to victory on The X Factor, she realizes that indulging him is no longer a viable strategy. Compounding Kass' anxiety are a kitchen-sink's worth of other issues: a reciprocated crush on the boy who turns out to be the object of her friend Char's affection, the possibility that Raff may be drawn into a life of serious crime, and the discovery of her mother's secret life outside the home. Gale succeeds in building a claustrophobic emotional atmosphere for her heroine to push back against, but the pileup of issues tips her story into unbelievable, soap-operatic territory. Readers will enjoy Kass' self-deprecatingly funny approach to her many problems, but the credulity-straining plotting renders this a secondary purchase, at best. (author's note) (Fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

EMILY GALE's nickname as a child was "Kojak" (for younger readers, that is a 1970s television show about a big bald man who sucked lollipops and solved crimes and said, "Who loves ya, baby?" a lot). Emily is scared of chickens, but not of spiders. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @EmilyGale.

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Girl Out Loud 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I've read so far is great!!
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Kass Kennedy has a unique, slightly over-the-top personality. While interacting with the real world around her, she plays game shows and holds imaginary conversations with Simon Cowell in her mind. It's easy to tell when she's doing this, as the worlds are in italics. Her whole world is one big drama. Her dad is bipolar, and when he's not down in the dumps he's set on making Kass a star. Her mom is never there for her, her kid brother won't help her (he's too busy making money through not-very-legal methods), and her best friends are preoccupied with their own problems. At first, I had trouble getting into the story with Kass's inner conversations interrupting the flow and her own personality over dramatizing her life (for valid reasons). Once I adjusted to Kass's voice and the plotlines connected, however, I was able to relate to Kass. Everyone has times when they freak out over little details or feel alienated from the rest of the family. Kass thinks that her mom likes her brother better, and Raff is jealous that their dad fawns over Kass, as troublesome as they know it is for Kass. My brother and I go through these kinds of phases as well, though we know our parents care about both of us. It's just hard sometimes not to think that parents play favorites. Of course, there are frustrating moments. Kass makes a lot of naive decisions, which I entirely get. Fifteen is the age for teen angst that only seem funny and nonsensical when you're older; it is the age for making silly decisions and placing all the blame either on others or yourself. Char is one of Kass's best friends and supposed to be sweet, but she gets angry at Kass over a crush. Not to mention that Dream Boy is eighteen and they're fifteen. While the age different becomes less importance as you grow older, eighteen and fifteen is a bit creepy. I did appreciate how the romance is more of a side note to the bigger issues in her world, and it wraps up realistically. Kass doesn't make the best decisions at first, and she blames herself for a lot of things that aren't her fault. Over the course of the novel, however, she will learn how to make her own decisions and make a stand for herself. Girl Out Loud is a short, sweet contemporary read about how a mental disorder can affect a family, overcoming the drama in life, and discovering your self-identity. It is about family, friendship, and first love. And there is teen angst, a whole lot of drama, and humor. Plenty of humor. All portrayed realistically from a fifteen-year-old girl's perspective.
SweetPeaBubbles More than 1 year ago
The synopsis to this book kind of confused me. I mean, the first parts make it sound like a comedy book, but the last part sounds like a drama. I decided to read this book because it looked alright to me, but I wasn't quite sure what to make of it before. I'm so thankful that I did, or else I wouldn't have read this really good novel. Reasons to Read: 1.Kass's Narration: The way the protagonist narrated the entire book reminded me a lot of Greg from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, in the way that she's always constantly poking at herself in a funny way. She doesn't sugar coat herself, she just says it the way it is. For instance, she doesn't try to pretend she's an amazing singer. She's just like, I'm a really bad singer, nothing's going to change that, but I'm ok with being a not-so-awesome singer. I wouldn't exactly call it low self esteem either; I'm not quite sure how to define how Kass feels about herself. I admired her for being able to identify her flaws, but was also able to highlight her strengths. She made all these jokes about what was going on, but sometimes the things happened were just so crazy and drama filled that they were funny. 2.Kass's relationship with her dad: I absolutely loved the relationship portrayed between Kass and her dad. From the plot synopsis, you can probably tell that he's not the most... Normal of parents. While many teens would just flat out refuse, but Kass makes an effort to make her dad proud, although it may not be her dream. They had their disagreements, and Kass got angry with her dad a lot in the book, but you could still tell that she felt really close to him, and that she loved him a lot. You could also see that she was really special in her dad's eyes. I wish that more YA books had parent relationships like this. 3.The author's ability to handle touchy subjects: One of the major things brought up in the book was mental illness. I thought that the author did a really great job at dealing with this issue. She explained really well how hard things can be, but also explained how good things can also be. She also dealed with other things such as underage drinking, touched on self harm, and when a boy tries to take advantage of a girl. I thought that the way things played out in the novel for these was very well done, and they weren't downplayed too much. These things were kept serious in the book, because they were trying to get a good message across. This book is very different, but it's also very well executed. The only thing that I hated in the book was one of the friends of Kass. She bugged me so much, and made me angry just thinking about her because I found her so annoying. Though, that was a pretty minor thing, and I think that she was written that way on purpose. I think that this book sends out a really good message, and I think that fans of comedic and dramatic books will like this novel. ARC received from Scholastic Canada for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sirked "bi....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How old is Cass