cover image Guitar Notes

Guitar Notes

Mary Amato. Egmont USA, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-60684-124-2

Amato (Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook) pens a music-driven meet-cute starring two dissimilar high school students. Trip Broody is an observant introvert whose only release is playing guitar. When his mother takes it away from him, in the hopes that he will become more social, he uses a school guitar and practice room, alternating days with Lyla Marks, a talented cellist who is under tremendous external pressure to get into a prestigious conservatory. What begins as an exchange of terse notes between Tripp and Lyla turns into emails and text messages, and soon a close friendship anchored by their shared love of music evolves. Trip encourages Lyla to loosen up, she draws him out of his shell, and they find similarities in their lives and begin to write music together. Amato nicely captures Tripp’s love of music and Lyla’s anxieties, though the story takes a late melodramatic turn that jars with the comparatively light material that precedes it. While the story is notably “clean” (Tripp and Lyla’s relationship is entirely chaste, and there’s no swearing, alcohol, etc.), the characters’ chemistry will have readers’ hearts racing. Ages 12–up. (July)