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This Song Is (Not) For You
Cover of This Song Is (Not) For You
This Song Is (Not) For You
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Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He's one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she...
Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He's one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she...
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Description-

  • Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He's one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she really wants to kiss him...

    Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way—she's too quirky and cool for someone like him. Still, they complement each other perfectly, both as best friends and as a band.

    Then they meet Tom. Tom makes music too, and he's the band's missing piece. The three quickly become inseparable. Except Ramona's falling in love with Tom. But she hasn't fallen out of love with Sam either.  How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

    "Educators and librarians looking for fast-moving, interesting plots, in-depth characters, and meaningful themes need to add this one to their shelves."—VOYA praise for If He Had Been with Me

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Ramona

    Have you ever met someone and you could feel that they were going to be important to you? It's like you never knew it, but you've been waiting your whole life to meet this person, and you recognize him with the same ease that you recognize your reflection.

    That happened to me once.

    ? ? ?

    When Sam told me his name, I laughed. It was like I should have already known. It was like he was already my Sam.

    "Sorry," I said. "I'm not laughing at you."

    "What are you laughing at?" he asked. We were standing on the stairwell outside the music department. Some guy knocked into his shoulder, but Sam didn't react. When Sam is interested in something, it's like the whole rest of the world has ceased to exist.

    "It's just, I feel like I should have already known that. You look like a Sam. Does that make sense?" I asked.

    "No," Sam said, and he gave me my first crooked smile. We were both freshmen, and it was the first day of school.

    "I'm Ramona," I said.

    "That makes sense," he said.

    ? ? ?

    "I said that?" Sam asks. He frowns at his guitar. He's replacing the B string, so I only have about one-eighth of his attention right now.

    "Yeah, it was like we already knew each other's names or something." And then quieter, 'cause I'm not sure if I want him to hear or not, "Or felt each other's names."

    Sam continues to frown at his guitar. I drum an impatient six-eighths beat on the garage floor. "Hurry up," I say. "Nanami is waiting for us."

    Nanami is our band's biggest and only fan. Whenever we post a new video on our web page, she comments immediately the next day. Someday when April and the Rain is super famous, we're going to go to Japan on tour and meet her in person-and she will be thrilled.

    Anyway.

    I move my drumming off the floor and onto Sam's sneaker. He doesn't react.

    "So, are we skipping band practice tomorrow?" I ask.

    "Why would we?" He finally looks up at me, and when I see his eyes, I feel the familiar flutter in my chest. Sam has brown, sleepy eyes fringed with long, black lashes.

    "'Cause we're going to Artibus tomorrow! Did you forget?"

    "No," Sam says. "But I don't see why we should skip practice. If anything, it should make us want to practice more."

    For years Sam and I have dreamed of escaping Saint Joseph's Prep for the campus of Artibus College of Music and Arts. In case you don't know, high school sucks. Our high school especially, because it's full of rich kids-and the only thing worse than a poseur is a poseur with money. Sam and I don't hang out much with anybody else.

    We're finally about to start our senior year. Summer is almost over, but first we have the admission evaluation tomorrow. School will start, and before we know it, we'll be applying for admission over winter break. The end is in sight.

    "Almost done," he says.

    I speed up my drumming on his foot.

    "Ow! Okay, I'm done! Jeez, woman."

    "You know you love me," I say.

    "Yeah, yeah," he says, but he gives me that crooked smile, and I know it's true. I just wish it were a different sort of love.

    ? ? ?

    It only took two days of being friends with Sam for us to start our band. In a month, he was the best friend I'd ever had. After a month and a half, I knew I was crushing on him hard, but I figured I'd get over it. I wasn't going to put the band at risk...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 8, 2016
    In an insightful story centered on a quirky trio of teenagers, high school senior Ramona, a committed iconoclast, plays drums in a band with her best friend and crush, Sam. He feels similarly about her, but neither of them wants to risk their friendship on romance. Ramona and Sam are both auditioning for a local arts college when they meet Tom. He has just been dumped by his girlfriend and wants to keep his head down until graduation, even while he's pursuing a clandestine "public service art project" that involves "glitter bombing" various places around town. The three share perfect musical chemistry, forming "the most kick-ass, avant-garde, in-your-face experimental noise rock band on the planet," but their complex, interconnected romantic feelings threaten to interfere. Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me) captures the antsy energy of senior year and the desire to stand out while still fitting in as she alternates among the three observant narrators. Despite some obvious foreshadowing, the story offers distinctive characters who show maturity as they seek to create satisfying creative and romantic relationships. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ali McDonald, Rights Factory.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2016

    Gr 8 Up-Teen musicians Ramona and Sam seek out a third bandmate to complete their group, April and the Rain. Tom fits the bill, and the three become instant friends. In classic teen fashion, Sam is secretly in love with Ramona. Ramona has feelings for Sam, and now finds herself falling for Tom. Tom is dealing with the aftermath of an awkward breakup but ends up dating Ramona so as not to jeopardize their friendship. The book is told in each of their own voices, and the trio's friendship strengthens with time as they grapple with how their feelings may mean different things to one another. VERDICT A typical teen story dealing with atypical types of friendship, love, and acceptance.-Vivian Ho, Port Washington Public Library, NY

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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This Song Is (Not) For You
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