Emma Mills masterfully tells the story of the friends-since-childhood scenario that brings with it a sense of familiarity. Nina thinks that taking a radio broadcasting class will be an easy elective class for senior year. She quickly learns that this idea is a complete disaster.
Her haphazardly formed group members have nothing in common. What makes matters worse is her childhood friend, Jamie who she’s been trying to avoid, ends up joining the group.
“The [radio] show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval. Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?” (Lucky Caller).
Friends that have known each other since childhood still hold a familiarity that never quite goes away, but life happens and some things aren’t how they once were. That’s exactly what is happening to Nina and Jamie. I felt the awkwardness between the two characters in the beginning of the book and through flashbacks, Mills tells the backstory of how Nina and Jamie grew up together and let readers in on the incident that made them drift apart from the friendly banter they once shared on the school bus.
Jamie is basically the ideal friend that everyone should have. He is great with Nina’s sisters especially her younger one who roped them all into playing make believe when they were younger. Jamie has lived with his grandparents in the same apartment complex as Nina, her two sisters, and their mom ever since they were young.
I didn’t want this book to end! It was one of those books where you get attached to the characters and want everything to turn out okay. Part of the time I was wanting Nina to try and fix her and Jamie’s relationship. It’s believable that what happened between them would put a riff in their friendship and I really wanted them to figure out how they could go back to being friends like they were before the incident.
As far as the school radio broadcasting group was concerned, I found myself laughing out loud because I know people who acted like some of them. I could picture the scenes in the broadcasting room playing out like a movie scene. They were pretty funny. I was really wondering how their interview with their mystery guest was going to go especially when their plans fell through and they had just started to get a following and listeners as well as sold tickets to a very full auditorium!
I liked the slight twist in the end when they all started to wonder if Nina’s mom’s boyfriend could’ve been a potential rock star back in the 90s. Mills leaves this open-ended so the reader never finds out if it’s true or not. I liked the 90s themed radio show. I grew up during the 90s so I was never old enough at that time to have really listened to the music they talked about in the book, but it still felt so nostalgic. I was more of a late 90s music fan myself!
Overall, I really liked trying to figure out if or when Nina and Jamie would become good friends again. I think the way it turned out was really cute. This was definitely a feel good book. The timing and length of the book felt perfect and I liked the friends since childhood trope.
The radio aspect brought something different too! It was a different way to bring music into the book without making the boyband or rock bands front and center. They were still a part of the book, but not heavily talked about, which I’m totally okay with in this scenario since all I was thinking was “will Nina and Jamie become more than friends!?” You’ll have to read it to find out.