Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Strictly Indie: Callum and Harper by Fisher Amelie

 Books and Sensibility's month long dedication to indie !

It's hard to be in the YA book blogging world without noticing all the upcoming indie novels and novelists. So, to open myself up to  more independent and self published authors, I am   going Strictly Indie for the month of May. I will be focusing on reviewing, discussing and posting about indie novels and even have a few guest posts along the way. 

  • Release Date: December 24th 2011
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Price: $2.99 ebook; 8.99 paperback

Callum and Harper is my first real look into the world of self-published novels. Now, to be honest, I am writing this review 6 months after reading this book and I don't have many notes, so this review will focus more on my experience with the novel.

The titular Callum Tate and Harper Bailey are a pair of teens who recently aged out of the foster care system. They meet at the Social Services office and told their only option for housing is in one of New York City's homeless shelters. The story follows the couple as they work, study and struggle to  make a better life for themselves together.

Being my first indie, the writing in this book was better than I expected. Fisher seems to really know ins and outs of New York City and the music scene the characters spend a lot of time in.

The story is told in alternating first person POVs and as I was reading them I would often forget which POV I was reading. Callum and Harper didn't have the voice distinction. The characters were strong as a couple, but couldn't hold their own as individuals.

One of the plots in this novel involves a boy from Harper's past who is a a psychotic killer and starts hunting her down. This plot line felt a little melodramatic at times and  took the focus away from the main story. I wish Amelie had stuck to keeping the story based on the growth of a relationship, the plot that worked great for the first half of the book.

The closest traditional published book I can relate Callum and Harper  to is Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry, it deals with similar themes of the foster system, teen angst and abuse. As well as maybe Graffiti Moon because it centers around a couple who spend most of the book together, but have alternating POV and appearances from the crazy group of friends

 It's interesting, at the time I read this book (and around the time Amelie published it) New Adult hadn't really had the growth it has now, but her book could easily be called NA. The characters are older, it deals with more mature situations and they do spend a fair amount of time in college. It was different from anything that was being published by mainstream publishers at that time. I can see why this book may have been best for self publication.

Sidenote: A page in this novel has a link to the song When We First Met by hellogoodbye for a reference. I thought that was interesting, as it is something you don't see in traditionally published ebooks.


  1. I hadn't heard of this one before but it sounds really interesting so I think I'll check it out (especially after the similarities to Pushing the Limits!). That cover is so eye-catching and different! It's very well done. Oh, and the link to the song is neat. E-books have a lot of potential that way!

  2. One thing that surprises me is the pretty cover! Most self-published covers don't look so professional.

  3. Ive had this book for quite awhile nome, but haven't made the time to read it. Fisher is a great writer. I'm glad you liked it!

  4. I love the whole concept of them meeting after aging out of foster care. I do have an issue sometimes when things play out too melodramatically though. But still, very interesting. Thanks for sharing! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books


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