Tuesday 15 August 2017

Book Club Picks #9 Dramarama

When Sadye Paulson gets accepted into a summer drama school, she is ecstatic! With her best friend, Demi, she enters the lives of other teenagers with the same dreams as her. However, drama school isn't all show-tunes and jazz hands. Sadye soon realises that being a theatre actor is more difficult than she thought, and a lot of her peers have more experience than she does. Sadye must work hard to show her teachers she is worthy of being there, but will her efforts be enough?

 As a huge musical theatre geek, this book seemed like it would be right up my street! Although I can't act to save my life, and my singing sounds like a cat being strangled,I do love listening to show-tunes, and have even seen a few West End shows and touring casts. I was therefore extremely happy when I discovered that February's book club book would be about a drama school!

The book follows Sarah Paulson, who under the advice of her best friend Douglas, a.k.a Demi, changes her name to Sadye. Sadye is extremely excited when she gets accepted into a summer drama programme, and is determined to show Morales, director of Broadway hit Oliver! what she's got. As Sadye hadn't had a lot of previous experience, I felt as if she was a little delusional, as she believed she would get all of the lead roles.I loved how she was brought back down to earth by her new friends,especially Nanette, who had previously been on Broadway. I loved how Nanette explained that being an actor isn't all glitz and glamour, and how pressured she felt by her family to get lead roles. I felt as if Sadye initially tried to place her roommates in a hierarchy, and didn't want to be on the bottom. Sadye seemed to be trying to push Candie to the bottom of her hierarchy, going so far as to bullying her for not being a great dancer.Although Sadye had her own weaknesses, she seemed to be trying to hide them by bringing Candie's to the foreground. Although I liked Sadye's enthusiasm, I didn't like that she felt the need to be mean to others in an attempt to make herself feel good.

Although the majority of the characters were white and heterosexual, there was a little diversity in the form of Demi, Lyle and Theo. I did however feel as if the majority of the diversity was packed into Demi, and as he was very flamboyant, he felt a little stereotypical. However I did adore Demi, and I felt as if Sadye treated him unfairly at times. I hated that she accused him for leading Lyle on when he had never done something like that before, and how her jealously caused arguments between them. I also found it unnecessary for Sadye to have a crush on Demi, as it was only mentioned in one paragraph towards the end of the book, and seemed to be completely random. I think I would have preferred if their relationship had remained 100% platonic.

Sadye was quite selfish for the majority of the book, especially when it came to Demi. I felt as if her unnecessary arguments with him led him to not trust her as much, and was reluctant to tell her his plans for the future in case she reacted badly. I mostly agreed with Demi in that Sadye was making her teachers notice her for all the wrong reasons, as she continued to pick fights with them when they were just doing their best to help her to improve. I felt as if Sadye never approached anything with an open mind, and instead of accepting constructive criticism, she was constantly criticising her teachers ways of teaching. I did however love that she redeemed herself with Demi, and sacrificed her happiness for his future.

One thing that was quite annoying for me was the lack of chapters. I always have to have chapters to give me a good idea of when it's okay to put the book down and go do something else. However, this book wasn't even split into parts, so it was difficult to decide when to stop reading. I didn't actually see a good reason for there to be no chapters, so I felt as if it would have made reading it a little easier for me if it had had chapters.

The one thing that really annoyed me was the epilogue! I felt as if it was unnecessary, and the book should have finished with the previous chapter. I felt as if the last chapter showed that sometimes things don't go how you thought they would, and sometimes you drift away from people who were once your friends. However, the epilogue seemed completely random, as it never actually gave us a time frame for when this was happening and was quite abrupt. Although I get that some authors like to leave an open ending for the reader to decide what happened next, I would have liked to have had a little more closure.

Although I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I was going to, it was still an interesting read. I loved all of the references to various musicals, songs and actors, and there was a couple of instances where a song would be mentioned and I would get it stuck in my head and start singing it! I felt as if most things were explained well enough for people who aren't into theatre to understand the references, but it did feel as if the book was written with fellow theatre geeks in mind. Although I am unsure if anyone who doesn't know the difference between a Tony award and Tony Hawk (points if you understood that reference!) would enjoy it this book, I think theatre lovers may like it.

Dramarama is now available to purchase!

   | Amazon Book Depository 

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