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The Sound of Us by [Hammerle, Julie]
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Product Description

Product Description

Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.

She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.

Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot, equally geeky drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.

But when someone starts reporting singers who break conduct rules, music camp turns survival of the fittest, and people are getting kicked out. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her first real chance at something more—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.

About the Author

Julie Hammerle writes a popular ChicagoNow entertainment blog, called Hammervision. Aside from TV blogging, she has been a Latin teacher, a Realtor, and a Weight Watchers leader. She started singing classically at age 13. She can be found on Twitter and at

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2233 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen (June 7 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191KMI6I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa74c8c18) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5faa0c0) out of 5 stars Up until today my favorite YA novel was Fangirl June 7 2016
By SD - Published on
Format: Paperback
Up until today my favorite YA novel was Fangirl. The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle may be trying and succeeding at usurping that title.

Kiki is also a fangirl but of a science fiction tv show called Project Earth and its female lead, Dana/Calliope. Kiki is a nerd who loves tv and music and twitter, but she decides to hide these parts of herself away when she attends voice camp because she really wants to fit in, make friends, and have a chance at one of the seven scholarships that are up for grabs.

On one of the first nights, she finds an out-of-tune piano in the basement of the dorm and begins playing and is soon joined by a boy chewing on a Nutty Bar, Jack. She gets a crush on Jack and is pretty sure that it’s reciprocated.

In the meantime, she works hard at voice because if she doesn’t get one of the scholarships, she’s going to have to go to school at her father’s university where he expects her to study Latin. But things are getting tough as it seems that there is a set of rules that one of the instructors has drawn up and anyone violating those rules will be thrown out of the program. The instructor, Greg Bertrand, has also suggested that if Kiki rats on her fellow students then she would be more likely to get a scholarship. While Kiki refuses to be a snitch, she can’t be sure about her peers.

Besides being extremely well-written, the characters are also very well done. I could identify with Kiki and her thought that she is “too fat to be thin and too thin to be fat.” In high school musicals, she was always going to be cast in the Aunt role or in the boy’s chorus. What I really like about Kiki is that she doesn’t sit around and whine. This could have been written as all angsty, but Hammerle didn’t do that and the novel is so much better for it.

Kiki’s roommate, Brie, “Blake Lively’s doppelganger,” initially comes across as kind of a prima donna, but then you see that she is actually just driven to succeed. In turn, all of the characters are well done, with no real stereotypes or cardboard cutouts.

I am fortunately at the beach on a foggy day and could read this book in an afternoon, but even so, I kept stopping just to draw the book out further. The story made me happy. I liked spending the time with the narrator. She’s funny, insightful, and self-deprecating, but also sincere and loyal.

“My first kiss is with a smarmy, shirtless guy who knows fuck-all about Project Earth and who smells like a sweaty baby. Seems about right.”

I very highly recommend The Sound of Us to anyone who enjoys well-written YA books and also music. As you can see from the quote, there is some language, but it is not gratuitous.

I love the book! And, thank you, Julie Hammerle. I hope to read many more of your novels in the future!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Sound of Us will be published in five days!!! on June 7, 2016.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f71480) out of 5 stars A mixture of that gorgeous cover and curiosity about the premise Fun, relatable June 18 2016
By The Bookavid - Published on
Format: Paperback
In THE SOUND OF US, Kiki is determined to get into the classical music program of a renowned university.

What intrigued me: A mixture of that gorgeous cover and curiosity about the premise

Fun, relatable, and unique

THE SOUND OF US immediately sucked me in. Hammerle has a fantastically relatable narrative voice that throws you right into the story. I couldn't put this down, every time I tried I kept thinking about Kiki and what would happen next. This is how you make your contemporary pop. THE SOUND OF US amazes with a very simple story that's so fantastically well executed that you just have to continue reading this even if that means you have you stay up past your bedtime.

One of my biggest worries was that THE SOUND OF US may not be able to translate the magic of Pitch Perfect in a written medium. It's not like you can exactly write down what music sounds like. Egh, you know what I mean. Anyway, I don't know how, but Ms. Hammerle did it. It feels like you're actually hearing the music while reading this. Paired with an unforgettable protagonist, this is just a delight and I'd recommend this to all contemporary lovers!

It plays in your typical university setting, but Hammerle cleverly chooses to only use the university atmosphere and to not give the reader lots and lots of boring class scenes. We learn a lot about the kind of people that go to the university and about Kiki's experiences. Essentially, this is a coming-of-age story, Kiki goes through so much character development in this novel that you can almost say she becomes a whole new person at the end of it.

Pop culture references and a mystery

THE SOUND OF US is filled with pop culture references of the past two decades, some you'll recognize, some are stand-ins, and it's a delight to read. I especially loved Kiki's tendency to compare every new person she meets to some character from a TV show. Her love for twitter and the fictional TV show Project Earth are only small factors that contribute to making Kiki an insanely relatable character. I rooted for her from the first page. I loved reading about her experience. Hammerle writes about university with pizzazz. She makes it exciting.

What really got me hooked is the mystery of the traitor. I just loved that twist to the story, because on its own the music program storyline is entertaining, but maybe not really enough for a recommendation. Hammerle turns the novel around halfway in and make it read like a fast-paced mystery, while still being true to that university feel that I love so much about the novel.



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THE SOUND OF US has something for everyone - there's romance, there's singing, there are relatable university experiences, and there's a mystery. What more could you want from a contemporary?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa630f918) out of 5 stars An amazing story with a beautiful message June 9 2016
By Suze Lavender - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Kiki has managed to secure a place at a prestigious music camp. She's got something to prove and going is already a big step. She wants to show people what she's capable of. She's a geeky girl who loves watching television shows. She tweets about them and has a lot of online friends and followers. Unfortunately Kiki doesn't think she's anything special and she's socially awkward. She doesn't think she's slim enough or pretty enough to be noticed. She has no idea how to interact with strangers and that part of the camp makes her more nervous than the music.

Only a few students will have the chance to win a scholarship to go to Krause. The university has a fantastic music program and Kiki's specialty is singing opera. Even though the beginning is hard Kiki soon finds out that she does have the ability to make friends and to have a social life. The competition at the music program is fierce and students are being played against one another. The rules are strict and Kiki has difficulties following them. She isn't allowed to do what she loves best, late night jam sessions in the basement of the dorm. She wants to be good and to win that scholarship, because her future depends on it. Will the summer bring her something memorable and will her hard work be rewarded?

Kiki is a very talented girl. She can sing beautifully and effortlessly and she's good at writing music and playing the piano. Music is who she is. She's smart and she's driven. At the camp she meets people who are like her. Her fellow students also excel in what they do and they have to fight for the same thing Kiki wants, a scholarship. Even though there's rivalry friendships blossom and I loved seeing Kiki come out of her shell. Julie Hammerle writes about her insecurities in an honest and heartbreaking way. I felt really bad for Kiki at times because her self esteem is so low. She's wonderful and pretty instead of worthless. It hurt to read what she thought about herself and I think that's exactly what the author was aiming for. Kiki isn't the only teenager who thinks about herself in that way and Julie Hammerle wrote about this issue in a sensitive way while the message was clear at the same time.

I loved reading about the program, the students and most of all the music. I could almost hear Kiki sing and loved the vivid descriptions. It's fabulous to visualize a story and to be able to almost hear it at the same time. I really enjoyed that. Kiki has never been lucky in love, but at the camp she finally meets a few guys who are like her. She struggles sometimes, but she's also unbelievably strong. She's great at standing up for herself. I liked the ending of the story. It's fitting, it's creative and the author makes a strong statement. I really liked this book. I'm a big fan of books about music and The Sound of Us is definitely an amazing one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6108b4c) out of 5 stars Clean and compelling romance/coming of age June 7 2016
By QueenBook - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
If you like music or romance, or genuine and believable characters, I think you will enjoy this read. It isn't your average YA music book - it takes place at an Opera camp - but don't let that deter you. There is plenty of catty girl stare downs, some awkward shirtless guy encounters, and a little bit of geek-girl-letting-go in the depths of this coming of age tale. I prarticularly enjoyed the narrator, Kiki. She is smart, medium quirky, and a character who feels things deeply. I related to her anxious attempts to become more social, and her obsessive drive to prove herself. She won't be everyone's cup of tea initially because she comes across as pretty meek and insecure, but readers who stick it out will realize exactly how strong she can be. This journey is one that a lot of YA readers will find engaging, especially since the message is about being true to yourself. Kiki struggles with that quest, as many of us do, and that feels genuine. The cast of secondary characters are varied and I love the fact that they surprised me, often as much as Kiki did. Overall, this read is one I'm happy to put in my high school classroom library. It has a clean and compelling romance - they aren't squeaky clean, but they aren't going to horrify your mother with their antics -- a nice coming of age story, and Kiki is a character I would be proud to point to as a role model. It is definitely going on my wish list. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 14+. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5ef6c24) out of 5 stars Highly entertaining & emotional look at the world of a pre-college opera program. June 12 2016
By Cait - Published on
Format: Paperback
THE SOUND OF US by Julie Hammerle is a highly entertaining and emotional look at a girl named Kiki and her summer at a rigorous pre-college Opera program. This story hit particularly close to home for me as I attended Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College program for musical theater in between my junior and senior year of high school. Definitely brought back some wonderful memories and dug up some of the less comfortable ones, as well. I didn’t study Opera, so I’m not sure if the strictness about not singing other kinds of music is actually a thing… We were always encouraged to explore all areas of music—but musical theater is a bit more of a melting pot stylistically.

The characterizations were spot on and the plot was well structured. The romance was sweet, but I’m glad this story was ultimately more about Kiki than just falling for some boy. He was a useful tool for showing what her journey was really about. Hammer beautifully wrote an inspiring coming of age story about not only finding yourself, but discovering what it is that YOU want—not what’s expected of you or what other people want for you. Highly recommend!