Raina Telgemeier – Drama
125. Drama by Raina Telgemeier (2012)
Length: 240 pages
Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction
Started/Finished: 05 November 2012
Where did it come from? Borrowed from a friend.
Why do I have it? I really enjoyed Smile, and everything of Telgemeier’s I’ve read since.
Even in the face
of relationship drama,
the show must go on!
Summary: Callie’s a total theater geek, although she’s happiest backstage. She’s working as the set designer for her school’s annual musical, and is determined to make this production the best ever. The theater department is never drama-free, especially in middle school, but the show must go on, despite contested casting decisions, unrequited crushes, new and old friendships, and practical limitations (no real cannons in the school auditorium!).
Review: This book was super, super cute. And what’s better, not saccharine cute, either, but believably, relatably, teenage-angst-riddenly cute. I thought this book was very relatable, in a way that was a nice blend of “sweetly nostalgic” and “ye gods, I’m glad I never have to go to middle school again.” I was not really a theater person as a teen (can’t act, and really can’t sing, although I have some stage cred from dance), so I can’t speak directly to that aspect of the story, but the “oh god I think he likes me do you think he likes me I think he does but if he likes me why hasn’t he asked me to the dance”-type angsting feels pretty universal. Telgemeier does a great job of handling that angle of things, and a diverse cast of characters with an equally diverse set of relationships, with a nice emotional maturity. (Maybe actually a little too much maturity? My main problem with this book was that I thought the characters read as high-school-aged rather than middle-school; maybe I was just a late bloomer but I don’t remember so many relationship woes in 7th grade.) In any case, though, this is a great read, sweet but down-to-earth and accessible to teens without talking down to them. I also love Telgemeier’s art – colorful and expressive and cute and a great match to the tone of her story. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Definitely recommended, particularly to theater nerds (and former theater nerds), but also to anyone who is in the mood for a lighthearted and enjoyable read.
First Line: “Do you think Mr. Madera will let me operate the spotlight again?”
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