Harmonic Feedback

Harmonic Feedback

by Tara Kelly

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Overview

Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn't have friends. She has, as she's often reminded, issues. Drea's mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger's."

Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea's preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.

It's obvious that Drea can't hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she's found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?
Harmonic Feedback is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429936866
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 409 KB
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Tara Kelly is a one girl band, writer, filmmaker, video editor, and digital photographer. Harmonic Feedback is her first published book.


Tara Kelly grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2004 where she earned a B.A. in Film and Digital Media. Her books include Amplified and Harmonic Feedback. She is enjoying life as a freelance artist in the Denver area.

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Harmonic Feedback 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
wheeze More than 1 year ago
I found Harmonic Feedback when I was searching on my library's new book list. For one thing, I love the cover. It's a dark cover, something to make you sad, but still has a girl opening herself up to the rain, it's bring hope it. Like just because you hate the world, doesn't mean you can find beauty in it. Be forewarned, you will need some tissues with this one. Andrea, or Drea as she likes to be called, is used to moving. Each time her mom finds a new boyfriend for the month, they move. Different cities, different states, it's all something to take with a grain of salt. Yet this move is different. They are headed up to Washington to live with Drea's annoying Grandma while her Mom tries to find a job and get back on her feet. It's just another city to Drea, nothing special. Most people don't know it, but Drea is special. She suffers from a milder side of Asberger's Syndrome. It's not something she likes to throw out there to everyone, but her Mom has no problem doing so. So when she heads to school for the first day, all the teachers look at her like she is stupid, handicapped, and an idiot. The only good thing that happens is she actually meets people, who want to know her. Naomi, the purple haired free spirit who lives across the street, and Justin, the attractive guy who befriends her, but yet his secrets of his own. With all of their music talent been discovered, they decide to make their own band. Naomi heading up the mic, Justin at the piano, and Drea using her talents with the all around producer. Things seem to mesh, but as Justin and Drea get closer in their relationship, Naomi is pulling away, back into the ring of drugs. She decides to run away with Scott, the grungdy boyfriend, and his drug using habits. Now knowing that something bad is going to happen, Drea and Justin go looking for her, only to find the worst outcome yet. With everything Drea is going through, can she handle anymore emotional baggage? Only time can tell, and hurt the wounded. To be honest, Tara Kelly did the most amazing job bringing this story to life. With most young adult books, you get either complete mush, or cookie cutter romances, it's hard to find the balance that can bring both together. Drea and her story will stay with me for a long time, even though it's just a book, I connected so much with the characters, it hurt me to end. I cannot wait to see what else Tara Kelly will bring to us, all I know is that it will be amazing.
booksnob95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Drea isn't your average teen girl. She's obsessed with sound design, cars, and vintage clothes. She's also been diagnosed with something called Asperger's. But her entire life changes when she moves to a new town and meets two new friends, Justin and Naomi. Hands down this is the best young adult book I've read in a long time. The characters were so real, especially Drea. I'm not autistic, but I could relate to her in ways I never expected. Naomi broke my heart and I found myself seriously crushing on Justin. The romance is very well-developed and left me breathless. If I could I'd give this book ten stars. It was just that good! The characters, the story, the plot were all unique and riveting. I could not put this book down! The ending left me in tears, but it was simply beautiful. If you can't tell, I HIGHLY recommend you pick up this book. It will be an experience you'll never forget.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All her life, music lover and sound design master Drea has been treated differently because of her many perpetual diagnoses: ADHD and Asperger¿s are just two of them. It¿s true that Drea doesn¿t get some things about social interaction¿why do people lie? Why don¿t people just always say what they mean?¿but she would really like the chance to have others know her without her labels.When she and her single mother move in with her stingy grandmother, Drea makes two good friends who share her love of music. Justin may even be more than a friend. But Drea cannot fully figure out the exuberant Naomi, who may have some serious problems of her own.HARMONIC FEEDBACK has a unique voice and memorable characters. The few issues I had with plot and pacing paled in comparison to Tara Kelly¿s resonant writing, which made this a lovely read for me.Drea may have many labels assigned her, but we¿ll all be able to recognize a bit of ourselves in her slightly eccentric, no-nonsense social awkwardness. The greatest thing is that her mental illnesses do not define her: this is not a book about a main character¿s struggle with mental illness, but rather a story whose main character just happens to have these labels placed on her. Drea is always struggling to let other people know her without her labels, and the development of her relationships with the people in her lives¿both new friends and old family members¿is done extraordinarily well.I found the plot to be a bit slow and circular after a while (just how many times can Drea, Naomi, and Justin meet up in different combinations with similar conversations without our attention wandering?), and the ending was jarring in its suddenness, but these are fairly minor issues compared with the strength of Drea¿s voice and Tara Kelly¿s writing. If you¿re looking for a sweet contemporary read with a different protagonist, give HARMONIC FEEDBACK a try and be swept into Drea¿s mind for a few hours. It¿ll be a memorable experience, both pleasant and eye-opening.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short but intense novel about a teenage girl, Drea, with Asberger's and ADHD. The novel is extremely fast paced, but does a decent job of covering the length of a semester of high school in just under 300 pages. Tara Kelly packs a lot into her novel, hence it being intense. It's both sweet and sad, and does a good job of dealing with drug issues (both the legal and illegal kind) without turning into a lecture. In some ways, it's a love story, but more than that -- it's a good lesson in how to overcome social awkwardness that so many of us have. Recommended.
BookSwarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Darned book made me cry! Maybe it was because I was up into the wee hours of the morning finishing this book or maybe it was because I was so invested in these characters, but I cried--and I so rarely do that with books. (Or...it could be that I have to go back to school in a couple of days that made me weepy...)Drea is an absolutely marvelous character--I totally rooted for her every step of the way. She's struggled all her life with labels (AS, ADHD), and a mom who tries to make life easier for her by telling everyone about Drea's "issues". Of course, this just ends up making Drea's life more difficult. And, because of her challenges, she has a lot of trouble relating to people and vice versa. They don't appreciate her straightforward honesty (she doesn't understand lying) or her abrupt manner until Nicole and Justin come along. Both musicians, they connect with Drea and become her first real friends (and boyfriend! Great love story!), making beautiful music together (sorry, couldn't help myself).I can't say enough about this book. I love the connections between the characters, how they all interact with one another. The dialogue is well-paced and totally believable. Author Tara Kelly's treatment of Drea's Asperger's syndrome is done with a delicate and understanding hand, integrating Drea's daily struggles with social interaction seamlessly into her overall character.Kelly develops deep backstories for each of her characters, adding to the richness of the story. For example, Justin isn't just a cute boy with a past, he has a past that he's trying to redeem himself from, a past that allows him to relate to both wild-child Nicole who loves boys and drugs (and who made me want to slap some sense into her!), and Drea, who'd rather bury herself in the basement with her instruments and her computer. Even Nicole's slimy boyfriend and minor character, Scott, is developed, rather than just a cardboard placeholder as is the case with many bit players.HARMONIC FEEDBACK definitely goes on my "To Read Again" pile (*much* smaller than my TBR pile). One of my top pics for 2010.I absolutely cannot wait for her next book, C-SIDE TALES, which comes out in 2011.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First of all: this cover. I absolutely love it. And once I finished the book, I loved it even more, I think it represents both the characters and what the book stands for. So awesome. I really loved reading this, I couldn't put it down. I don't even think I changed positions once I sat down and started it. I checked it out from the library but I definitely plan to buy my own copy at some point now. This is a book I'll be reading again (and again...and again...). Drea has ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. When the book starts, it showcases Drea and how she is different - but also how she is the same. If the book had just stopped there - just showing how Drea deals with being different and constantly self-concious - it would have been brilliant enough, but instead the book takes things much further. It becomes a testament to how everyone feels different than the "mainstream" at some point. You don't have to be diagnosed with a syndrome or disorder to feel like you're freakish and weird. Tara Kelly gives all her characters a voice, and they all had something to say. I absolutely loved the relationship between Drea and Justin. There was so much power and meaning in their growing friendship, because Kelly showcased how Drea's mental processes made her second guess everything he said and did...so once she started trusting him it really meant something. The friendship between Drea and Naomi was so multi-faceted and complicated. In some ways, Naomi was a great friend for Drea, and in other ways it broke my heart to see some of the situations Drea was dragged into and didn't know how to get out of. I absolutely loved this book and I think everyone should read it!
thehidingspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
By simply reading the description of Harmonic Feedback, you'll discover that the main character has Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's is characterized by social awkwardness and repetitve behaviors, which, understandably, sets Drea apart from other main characters in the genre. Unfortunately, some people may see Kelly's debut novel on the shelf, and, like Drea's peers, be unable to see past the Asperger's. This aspect of the novel is well written and allows it to stand out on crowded YA shelves, but that isn't the only thing that makes it shine.As indicated by the title, Drea is heavily influenced by music. Whether the reader is familiar with the bands or types of music in the novel is irrelevant; it's Drea's passion that resonates. Often, a main character will dabble in hobbies and activities, but readers rarely see the protagonist so completely dedicated to something, other than a boy. Drea's ability to both lose and find herself in music reminded me of how I feel about reading. I think many readers will feel this connection to Drea, no matter what their individual passion. It's the fact that the reader can identify with Drea that makes her unforgettable.It's impossible for me to discuss Harmonic Feedback without mentioning Justin, the boy who unexpectedly walks into Drea's life and turns it completely upsidedown. Not only does Justin challenge Drea's ideas about her music, he challenges her ideas about herself. In ways, Justin is Drea's knight in shining armor. He awakens her to a whole new world that I fear she never would sought out on her own. Kelly wrote Justin as both a supportive friend and a boy falling head over heels for a girl, which is exactly what Drea needs. I can't say enough good things about Harmonic Feedback and, even then, I don't know if I could do it justice. Tara Kelly has written a powerful novel that both inspires and entertains and I urge you to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will probably always be one of my favorites, as someone with Asperger's I can see myself in Drea and understand the struggles she goes through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Niasmom More than 1 year ago
I loved this book for many reasons: Drea, the main character is awesome. The fact that she has Asperger's is an organic part of the story. Tara Kelly has a breathtaking command of the language. Kids who love music, kids who have conflict in their lives, kids who have challenges--in other words, everyone--will get something out of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
naspy More than 1 year ago
this is one of the most romantic complicated book i have read and it makes you relate to the character somehow and a twisted way just love.it is so different and i'm sure you'll love it. it is so different from some of the books i read. you'll laugh,cry your heart out and it will be very worth and i'm going to surprise you with no telling you what the book is about.
TheBookSwarm More than 1 year ago
Darned book made me cry! Maybe it was because I was up into the wee hours of the morning finishing this book or maybe it was because I was so invested in these characters, but I cried--and I so rarely do that with books. (Or...it could be that I have to go back to school in a couple of days that made me weepy...) Drea is an absolutely marvelous character--I totally rooted for her every step of the way. She's struggled all her life with labels (AS, ADHD), and a mom who tries to make life easier for her by telling everyone about Drea's "issues". Of course, this just ends up making Drea's life more difficult. And, because of her challenges, she has a lot of trouble relating to people and vice versa. They don't appreciate her straightforward honesty (she doesn't understand lying) or her abrupt manner until Nicole and Justin come along. Both musicians, they connect with Drea and become her first real friends (and boyfriend! Great love story!), making beautiful music together (sorry, couldn't help myself). I can't say enough about this book. I love the connections between the characters, how they all interact with one another. The dialogue is well-paced and totally believable. Author Tara Kelly's treatment of Drea's Asperger's syndrome is done with a delicate and understanding hand, integrating Drea's daily struggles with social interaction seamlessly into her overall character. Kelly develops deep backstories for each of her characters, adding to the richness of the story. For example, Justin isn't just a cute boy with a past, he has a past that he's trying to redeem himself from, a past that allows him to relate to both wild-child Nicole who loves boys and drugs (and who made me want to slap some sense into her!), and Drea, who'd rather bury herself in the basement with her instruments and her computer. Even Nicole's slimy boyfriend and minor character, Scott, is developed, rather than just a cardboard placeholder as is the case with many bit players. HARMONIC FEEDBACK definitely goes on my "To Read Again" pile (*much* smaller than my TBR pile). One of my top pics for 2010. I absolutely cannot wait for her next book, C-SIDE TALES, which comes out in 2011.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago