February 8, 2013
Mary Amato's Guitar Notes tells us the story of two different characters who find themselves bonding over a guitar. Very different characters. One a boy and a one a girl, but Amato never plays the romance card with the two of them and she should earn a bazillion author points for making that move. I'm not sure what an author would redeem author points for, but that's irrelevant. She should get them anyway.
The perhaps too aptly named Tripp Broody and Lyla Marks are as opposite seeming as possible: he's the odd guy out, the one who always says what he's thinking. She's a straight-A student, already at a young age an accomplished cellist, and she seems perfect.
They each sign up for practice rooms at their school: Tripp gets odd days, Lyla even. A minor encounter with a napkin left on a music stand that irritates Lyla--the people using the rooms are supposed to clean up their trash when they leave--starts off a string of notes that lead to a friendship that leads to writing music together.
And other stuff happens, by I feel that at least some of what happened toward the book cheapened the plot. I would've preferred that resolution be found through a different means.
But between the notes and the music, this book just struck all of the right nostalgic chords with me. Perhaps it's because when people write me notes I keep them, because I find nothing to be quite as personal as a note can be. Perhaps it's because I'm a former band nerd who always wished she wrote her songs and who sometimes thinks she should teach herself to play guitar.
Whatever the reason, I found myself enjoying the interactions between Lyla and Tripp in a wonderfully reminisce-y sort of way.