Book Review: A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction

A summer of friendship, romance, and songs in major chords… 

CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she’s good at it. But she only sings when she’s alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus’s Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie’s mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she’s visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She’s got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she’s not entirely unspectacular.

ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie’s grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can’t wait to leave their small country town. And she’s figured out a way: she’s won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose’s ticket out.

Literary Awards: YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011)


First, there’s Graffiti Moon (which i loved). Then there’s A Little Wanting Song. What is it with Crowley’s writing? It is so darn good! Reading her work is like a caress to my eyes. Inviting. Enticing. Soul-baring.

“It’s a different kind of missing. You’re trying to remember, and he’s trying to forget.”

Charlie‘s dad is so far away from her (emotionally speaking) because of grief. Charlie’s mom died years ago, and her dad still mourns on his own, neglecting Charlie. What’s she to do, besides not standing up for herself against the Louises of the world? write songs. play guitars. steal cigarettes out of her Grandpa’s store in little hopes that her dad will notice her. pine over Dave Robbie.

“I looked up from that other place and saw Dave staring through the glass. I thought: That guy is a little gratitude, world peace, a new acoustic guitar, a bass guitar and hands that play like Flea, and the single “Break Your Heart” all at once. He smiled and waved. I’m sick of staring at what I want, I thought. I’d do anything to hold it in my hands.”

Rose wants to get away from her town, to banish the possibility that she’ll end up like her mom. mother at a young age who chose to stay and live a simple life as a caravan manager. She wants to experience the world with her intelligent eyes. She doesn’t want an overbearing mother who keeps her from going into the city. She doesn’t want to do it with Luke and get pregnant at the backseat of a car. She just wants out. Charlie’s her only hope.

Despite the striking differences in their personalities, i both liked their POVs. Charlie’s more on sarcasm. Rose’s more on angst. Similar strengths but different approaches. separate lives but same sufferings. I just love how their POVs collided and softly blended into this one beautiful story. I found hope, warmth, forgiveness all throughout the book. such wonderful feelings!

I have a soft spot for Charlie’s dad and her Grandpa. Both are trying to live and move on even without their better halves. 😦

A Little Wanting Song is a sweet, aching read. Two girls on the cusp of realizing their dreams found friendship in the unlikeliest people and drew unexpected strength… from themselves.


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