Three weeks into the school year music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with the mysterious ex-boyfriend whose name she has not even been able to say. In hopes of saving studentkind from the hell that is high school, Casey has been slipping song playlists to fellow students while working in the library. When she gets another chance with her ex, she schemes to win him back by giving him one of the lists. Her plan works, but not quite in the way she hopes, and she realizes that truly winning him back will be a lot harder than choosing some killer songs. Namely, she will need to get the attention of the whole school in a way no one has ever done before.
As excited as I was for this book, and as much as I wanted to like it, I could never fully immerse myself in the story. I had the most extreme lack of connection to the main character, Casey. It didn’t help that the story is told in the third person – this only created even more detachment, in my case.
I appreciate Casey’s devotion to and passion for music. The playlists thrown into the story are really neat and a nice touch for her character. But between her random babblings, music references, and strange trying-to-be-too-cool phrases, I became lost – and not just with her, but with the story as well. I understand that she is not, in any way, going to be labeled a “good girl,” but I definitely wasn’t expecting her to be so ready to hook up with her ex (going out on a limb here and relying on my memory, but I’m pretty sure it happens not even 50 pages in). I wasn’t able to get used to the idea of them being together. As a reader, I barely even knew who he was, exactly. There’s very limited details given, and they don’t offer much. However, there is a background story for almost every character, no matter how minor they may be – which, while at first seemed like it helped me get a feel for the story and setting, ended up making me utterly lost with the abrupt changing between the past and present, especially in the beginning.
The flow of the novel just didn’t work for me. I could never settle into the story, which made for a very rocky reading pattern.
While I understand that Casey is only a Sophomore in high school, I wasn’t quite prepared for the read to be so juvenile, both in its writing and plot and characters. That said, it’s a very light, feel-good read. It’s definitely not weighed down by emotional baggage, and Casey’s voice keeps things entertaining and humorous.
Casey Barnes Eponymous is a story that will keep you on your toes, purely from its strangeness.