Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Take a Bow" by Elizabeth Eulberg

Book Cover of Take A Bow by Elizabeth EulbergThe teenagers in this book are not your average slacker, flighty or otherwise "normal" sixteen or seventeen year olds.  These teens are talented, determined, and on the path to stardom.  Emme, Sophie, Ethan and Carter are all students at a prestigious high school for performing arts in New York City.  Emme is an aspiring songwriter, content at staying in the shadows yet applied to the school on her best friend Sophie's insistence.  Sophie knows that  her voice will bring her fame and stardom, as long as everything goes to her plan at school.  Ethan is another talented songwriter, and hopes to go far - as long as his penchant for self-sabotage doesn't stop him.  Carter is a former child star, now soap opera actor who is trying to find himself away from the spotlight.  The stress and competitive nature of the school and of those trying to live their dreams will bring out the best and worst in these teens.... will any of them make it?

There is so much in this book that I liked, but I really loved the characters and the ways in which they evolved.  The setting is fantastic:  inside a highly competitive and elite high school for artists.  It is a place that maybe we've fantasized about (along with our Grammy or Oscar acceptance speeches) but this gives us a very realistic idea of what it really could be like.  I couldn't say if it is really true to life, having never even seen the exterior of a place like this...  but it certainly seems to be.  The characters start out pretty basic and almost stereotypical...  but then evolve to become important to you without you even realizing it.  I starting having an emotional reaction when it became particular character's time to narrate.  There was one that I wanted to bitch slap, and others I wanted to hug... and still others I'd like to go hang out with, or watch play music.  By the end of the book, I had become so wrapped up in these characters that I was on the edge of my seat, racing to find out how things were resolved!  There is this one scene in which one person opens up to another in a very public and endearing way...  and I just loved it.  The conclusion is nice and tight, though I still would be curious to know how the next stage of their lives progresses. (Isn't that almost always the way?)

Now that some time has passed since I read the book, I find myself thinking more and more about the individual characters.  I am thinking about the different ways in which I identified with Emme, both when I was in high school (though I never had half the talent she has - in anything) and as an adult, and I think that many other women would as well.  There is also plenty to identify with in the male characters as well - no matter your gender.  I think this book is growing on me even more - long after I've finished reading it!  

*****
Take a Bow
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Scholastic/Point, 2012
278 pages
Source:  Publisher for honest review

1 comment:

Susan said...

Those books that stick with you after you turn the last page are the ones that are really worth reading. I'll have to look for this one.

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