**FINALIST, USA Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2012**
**FINALIST, Next Generation Indie Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2013**
**Second Place/Quarter-Finalist in the YA category of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards**
A father’s selfish demands, broken booze bottles, and unconscious mothers are everyday fixtures in eighteen-year-old Samantha Becker’s life. Armed with her guitar and music to keep her comfort in a volatile world, Sam’s one dream to study classical guitar at Juilliard may very well be her salvation. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” Sam’s ability to play the guitar dies along with her dreams of attending the renowned school. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.
Just when Sam has given up, a budding friendship and an unexpected romance give her the hope she needs, forcing her to reevaluate all she’s ever known. With fresh conviction, Sam battles her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury. But will it be enough? Julliard auditions are almost here. Time’s running out, and Sam must re-learn to play the guitar or give up her dreams forever.
I used to play the violin and my daughter has been playing it for 8 years, so I was immediately attracted to the blurb of this novel. The protagonist plays the guitar, not the violin, but I love books about musicians.
I was not disappointed with Freedom Road! This is a compelling, poignant, beautifully written story about a gifted 18-year old girl, Samantha, who wants to make her dream of going to Juilliard a reality in spite of the disability that suddenly disrupts her life after a terrible kitchen accident. The accident isn’t the only problem, though: she also has an alcoholic mother and a father who thinks Samantha’s goals are nothing but pipe dreams. In the story, we live Samantha’s struggles as she goes against all odds, realizes that her so-called friends aren’t really her true friends after all, and also discovers life-changing secrets about her family. There’s also a very nice romantic subplot that adds another layer to this multi-faceted tale.
In sum, I highly recommend Freedom Road to lovers of realistic YA fiction as well as to fans of stories about musicians. T.M. Souders is definitely a name I’ll keep watching out for.
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