OK, first things first: the cat is not squeamish about taboo subjects in YA-fiction. On the contrary. Whenever an author tries to do something different, be it in style or by the whackiness of a book’s content, or even by putting up an apparent language barrier, the cat’s the first to give this type of thing a chance. So taboo subject, not an issue here… However, when everything you get is melodrama, uncomfortably cheap puppy-dog dialogue, and unsympathetic, not to mention irresponsible characters, then the cat would rather leave it… Unfortunately that’s exactly what Tabitha Suzuma gave her with her latest apparently overly raved about Forbidden. A big fat, pffffffff… Read the rest of this entry »
Scarlett turns 15, and with that comes great responsibility in the Martin family. She is left in charge of one of the suites in the 1920s family-run Art Deco hotel, the Hopewell. This is not just another original birthday present. In the Martin family, it’s a way of keeping the hotel - which has seen better days – up and running. The Martins have been struggling to keep their heads above water, ever since their youngest daughter, a brat called Marlene, survived cancer. Along comes Amy Amberson, an old Broadway starlet who will turn the hotel and the lives of the Martin family members upside down.
Suite Scarlett is really a family tale. We encounter a family of siblings who’ve drifted apart since Marlene’s illness and we see them come together again. We meet a group of actors (Spencer (funny protective older brother), Eric (the would be boyfriend), but also Scarlett herself) who would do anything to get their show (a 1920s silent movie adaptation of Hamlet) off the ground. Despite the unusual premise (isn’t everyone rich who is able to afford to live in a hotel in New York) the story still has a fair deal of realism and authenticity. Central to the story is basically a young girl, Scarlett, who faces all the dilemmas a teenager has to face as she is ready to start the life of dating (and with it the insecurities, the drama, the lies, etc.). Scarlett is clearly off to start (young) adulthood and take responsibility in the family household.
No wonder the books almost screams: SEQUEL!
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Tags: broadway, drama, hotel, new york, theater
Categories : ***, chicklit, growing pains, Young Adult Fiction
When the lifestyle of small-town America isn’t enough and you feel constantly as though your life is destined to get its share of razzle tazzle, but you can’t get it where you are now, what do you do? You find another misfit and escape in the life of musical and drama and you audition to go to the summer theater camp at Wildewood Academy of Performing Arts.
Sadye (Sarah) and Demi (Douglas Howard), feel utterly out of place in their Ohion village, find each other through their common interest in theater and decide to get out, no matter what. The theater of Broadway is where their ambitions lie. Demi, as it turns out, is not only bursting with ambition, he also has the talent to match it. Sadye, well,… not so much. Not only does she have to discover that she might not be quite as talented as she’d thought (hoped), her friendship with the only person in the world who understood her suffers from it.
Dramarama is full of theater references, musical songs, and yes… teenage drama. If you aren’t really into all that musical stuff (and I’m not), then stay away from this book. There really isn’t anything that makes it surpass mediocrity. It doesn’t explode with fun (no feather boas, no jazz hands – despite what the blurb promised!). There are no real memorable characters. And it’s actually chockfull of stereotypes. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: broadway, drama, rocky horror picture show, summer camp, theater
Categories : **, boys will be boys, chicklit, growing pains, Young Adult Fiction