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.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.