No place to fall

Jaye Robin Brown

Book - 2014

Sixteen-year-old Amber Vaughn dreams of attending the North Carolina School of the Arts to gain confidence in using her amazing singing voice, but her family is falling apart and she is torn between two boys.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : HarperTeen [2014]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
354 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062270993
0062270990
Main Author
Jaye Robin Brown (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Amber Vaughn is an extraordinary singer from the mountains of North Carolina. But her situation isn't idyllic. Her family is poor, her father cheats on his wife, and her brother-in-law is a known drug dealer. The only thing she wants in life is to get out of her small town and sing on a real stage. During her junior year, Amber makes two major decisions: to get into an esteemed arts school in nearby Winston-Salem and to help a new friend regain his ability to play the music he loves. When the two decisions collide, the result causes complications for both herself and the people she loves the most: her family, her friends, and the boy for whom she falls hard. Lyrically written with a deep sense of place and music, Brown's story allows the heroine to stumble, falter, and suffer consequences without forcing a tidy, happy ending. There is so much joy within the pages that the sorrow hits hard and emotions rise and fall and rise again like a vocalist running scales. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Amber Vaughn—one of three Ambers in her junior class—has plenty of reasons for being good. She's "barely sixteen," her mother's a fundamentalist Baptist, and her "daddy has a thirty-aught-six rifle." But lately her parents have been distracted: her mother is worried about Amber's older sister, whose husband deals drugs, and Amber is sure that her father is having an affair. So no one notices when Amber hooks up with her best friend's brother, who happens to date one of the other Ambers. Debut author Brown makes a small town in North Carolina—where everyone knows everyone, and the outside world comes in via Appalachian Trail hikers—feel real, but the heart of the story is Amber, as she tries to find herself, love, and her voice (she's a talented singer, but is afraid of singing in front of crowds). Though the no-good brother-in-law and the snarky new boy in town distract from the music—potential love interest Will may be a judge's son, but he plays a mean banjo—Amber's persistence and down-to-earth narration carry the story through these melodramatic additions. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Dec.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 10 Up—In the atmospheric mountains of western North Carolina, high school junior Amber Vaughn is the peacekeeper in the family. She's pretty sure that her daddy has a sweetie on the side, her momma seems afraid to lose weight and venture outside of her safe home, and her sister Whitney married drug dealer and rock-star-wannabe Sammy when she found herself pregnant. Amber is determined to make something of herself. She has true musical talent, but is afraid that her voice will never go beyond Sunday gospel solos. When the teen learns of a scholarship to a prestigious arts school, Will, the brother of her best friend Devon, offers to help her audition. Will is the sweetheart of one of the other Ambers in her class (confusingly, there are three of them) and is therefore off-limits, but he's just so hard to resist. The more they work together, the more obvious it becomes that they should be a couple. Then, her sister's legal crises and her own misjudgment while trying to help another friend threaten to destroy everything that she's worked so hard to build. Debut author Brown is off to a wonderful start with authentic characters who speak in true voices. Amber could be the best friend you had in high school—she's funny and moody and truthful and absolutely the real deal, and readers will clamor for another well-paced story featuring her and her friends. Realistic treatment of social pot smoking, some drinking and (safe) sex make this title appropriate for mature teens.—Susan Riley, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY [Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Becoming intimate with her best friend's older brother while preparing to audition for a prestigious arts school, good girl Amber begins questioning her beliefs and faces an impossible choice in the wake of a family tragedy. A first book. Simultaneous eBook. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sixteen-year-old Amber Vaughn dreams of attending the North Carolina School of the Arts to gain confidence in using her amazing singing voice, but her family is falling apart and she is torn between two boys.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“Southern charm oozes off the page”* of this sexy and poignant novel about family, friendships, and first romance—from Jaye Robin Brown, the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit. It's Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere meets Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby.Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends Friday nights hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. But when she learns about an audition at a prestigious arts school, Amber decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life.Devon’s older brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out. The more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between right and wrong, there’s a whole world of possibilities.*Kirkus

Review by Publisher Summary 4

'southern charm oozes off the page* of this sexy and poignant novel about family, friendships, and first romance'from Jaye Robin Brown, the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit. It's Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere meets Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby.Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends Friday nights hanging out at her best friend Devon's house. But when she learns about an audition at a prestigious arts school, Amber decides that her dream'to sing on bigger stages'could also be her ticket to a new life.Devon's older brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out. The more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she's such a good girl, after all.Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family's world'and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between right and wrong, there's a whole world of possibilities.*Kirkus