Musical Youth Reviews

Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes.”—CODE, Sponsors of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

“All-in-all Musical Youth is an entertaining read that reminds teenagers that they will survive their troubles. The writing is vivid; the characters are credible; the idea of using music as a thread to tie the characters together is brilliant.” This is just a small part of the Debbie Jacob’s review in the Trinidad Guardian of January 18, 2015. She goes on to hail the book as a “Compelling read” that will engage a wide range of readers from 14-22 years old.

Authors and Bloggers:

“I first recognized the weight of her work by the response of the teens to her book, Musical Youth , in the Grenada Community Library. It remains one of the most popular books with teens, despite their tendency to shun Caribbean literature when they have a choice because they are required to read it in schools.” – Oonya Kempadoo, author of Buxton Spice

In April we came across a review in French from a blog titled myinsaeng. You can read the french review here and the English translation here, but this is the last paragraph: “To my knowledge, there is no French translation available, much less Creole, but I hope that “Musical Youth” will become a classic of literature for generations to come. And why not an audiovisual adaptation to immortalize this illustration of our time?”

“I love the little loving details that go into making a book that much more special, like the musical staff here on every new chapter of #MusicalYouth by @jhohadli . If you’re looking for a great YA summer read that’s also got some depth, check this one out. It’s all about learning to work together, the effects of colourism, coming out of your shell, and embracing your own self worth. I will read this one again at some point!…It’s a heart-warming Antiguan YA that’s pretty quick and easy to get through. 🌴🌺🌊📖Would highly recommend!” –beauty.on.the.bookshelf  on Instagram

“I was very impressed with this book mostly because I am a teenager myself and I found it very relatable.Firstly, I will state that I was impressed with the evolution of the relationship from friends to lovers between Shaka and Zahara. I especially liked how it grew off of their deep passions for music. Also, I loved your usage of the “Antiguan Dialect” in the novel and the use of modern technology. The usage of these two things allowed myself as a teenage to better relate to the book. Finally I would just like to say that this book kept me on my toes especially considering a finished it within a day! Ms. Hillhouse, you have done a fantastic job of writing this book and I hope that one day we can meet in person for me to thank you and to discuss it in further detail! Lastly, I would like to state to anyone who is reading this to purchase this novel! Give it to your daughter, son, uncle or even your grandmother! It is definitely one that they will enjoy especially with the unexpected within the book!”

“I grew up in Antigua, and reading Musical Youth transported me back into time when I was a secondary school student. I reminisced on the close friendships I’d made, very much like Shaka and his crew, and I could also relate to making friends with “the butter skin” girl. Through Joanne’s vivid writing, I felt Shaka and Zahara’s passion for music and I shared in the excitement and nervousness of preparing for the end of summer show. I was swept up into the twist at the end and was thoroughly engaged from the first page to the last. Great read!”

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