Title: Things Hoped For
Author: Andrew Clements
What it's about: Gwen's a high school senior who loves to play the violin. She stays with her grandfather in New York so she can attend a music school and audition for colleges. One day, a few days before her college auditions, Gwen comes home to find her grandfather missing. He's left her a message telling her not to worry and not to let anyone know he's gone. Gwen tries to go about her days as usual, and she meets Robert, a trumpet player who is also in town for music college auditions. Gwen and Robert stick together over the coming days, which include a prying great-uncle, an mysterious creeper, and a whole lotta self-discovery for Gwen.
What I thought: Written with an easy style from the view of a sympathetic narrator, this book really makes music resonate with someone like me who has never really connected with the practice of playing a musical instrument. For all Gwen's a flawed character, like any good character in a novel should be, she's utterly likable. Robert is the protagonist of Clements' earlier book Things Not Seen, and it's interesting to see him portrayed from another character's point of view. The prose is rather musical in its way, too, and has a very easy, comfortable feeling that makes reading this book feel heartwarming.
Overall: This is a good book, and if you're a fan of classical music, you'll especially enjoy this. Matty, if you end up reading this review ever, check out Things Hoped For.