Seventeen- year-old Aria Morse is indeed an actual oracle, much to the detriment of her high school social life. If someone asks her a question, the true answer bursts from her mouth, unbidden. And it generally comes out in an esoteric oracle-ese language that even Aria can’t always interpret. To protect herself from hearing random questions at school, Aria relies on her headphones and MP3 player. When her ears are filled with music, the questions cannot evoke Aria’s automatic declarations of truth. If only she could wear the headphones all the time.
Each chapter in Ask Me is the title of a song on Aria’s playlist. One of the chapter is named “Candy Case,” which is a song performed by the alternative band Last Summer. As Pauley explains on her web site, she had first intended the chapter titles to have a line or two of the song’s lyrics. Getting permission to use these lyrics turned out to be tricky. But in the case of Last Summer, Pauley not only received permission, but the band prepared a special video for Ask Me.
-Diane Colson, currently reading Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson
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