When It Drops

Alex Dyson

When It Drops
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When It Drops

Alex Dyson

Caleb Clifford has earbuds, not real buds. And he prefers it that way. 1. They always give him what he wants to hear. 2. He can adjust the volume. 3. If things get tangled, it’s relatively easy to straighten them out again…

Sixteen-year-old songwriter and aspiring social outcast Caleb Clifford fills his world with music, but - like most things - keeps his songs to himself. That is until his little brother leaks Caleb’s most personal track online; a track that’s quite obviously about his secret crush. Having his innermost feelings (accompanied by a funky bassline) go viral is not Caleb’s idea of a good time. But is this the end of everything, or the start?

A hilarious and touching coming-of-age debut novel from ARIA award-winning triple j host Alex Dyson about family, friends, fame, and the importance of never leaving your computer unattended.


Every bedroom music producer dreams of fame and when one of Caleb’s tracks goes viral after being leaked by a pesky sibling, you’d think he’d be totally delighted. Instead, he’s a wreck. The song is an emotional outpouring about a crush, and of course now everybody knows. He may as well have named it ‘To The One Girl I’ve Loved Before (and Still Love)’. There’s no turning back though, and he enters the strange world that is the music industry. There are cheesy photo shoots and weird parties. It’s good, bad and ugly.

With school, family, friendships and his crush, life is all very hectic for Caleb. He’s unconvinced this is the right path, but maybe, when surrounded by the right people, he can find a way to be successful and do what he loves. As one might expect from the debut book by a former Triple J host, there’s plenty of references to bands and artists in here. There’s also a pretty funny send up of radio host macho buffoonery.

The book is inspired by Dyson’s time on air, when he met artists like Lorde who became famous as teenagers and it’s a really fresh, funny YA novel, obviously a great choice for those into music.

Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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