By E. Lockhart
Two teen theatre-fanatics. One dream. And SUMMER DRAMA CAMP.
All-round theatre-enthusiast, Sarah – better known by her showbiz name, Sayde – is a girl with ambitions too big for the small and conventional town she lives in. Her life doesn’t have the razzle-dazzle she craves. For once she wants to feel special, noticed and be the centre of attention.
This summer Sadye has her talents set on Wildewood’s prestigious theatre summer camp. And with her best friend Demi – a flamboyant falsetto, who is equally thrilled to be leaving their small town of Brenton – they will both experience a season of hormones, hissy fits, jazz hands, song and dance, true love and unitards! But despite all the glitz and glam, there comes rivalry and competition, and Sadye will have to prove her talents more than she has ever had to before.
Summer at Wildewood will not only determine Sadye’s future – but will also test her friendships.
AHHH I WISH I WAS A TALENTED MUSICAL THEATRE ARTIST!!
I will just have to sadly remain as theatre geek who cannot reach the high notes.
This book playfully combines the free-spirited, accepting and fun-loving elements of the musical theatre world with also inevitable jealousy and competitive aspects you just cannot avoid.
Sayde and Demi are both excited when they are accepted at Wilewood’s theatre summer camp. They both come from boring small towns and this camp provides them everything they want – adventure with endless singing and dancing. Of course, what kind of book doesn’t have a complication of some sort? Sayde finds herself at odds with the talented and spontaneous people around her, scared of being left behind whilst the rest of her friends succeed. It’s a fun and hilarious read which will even get you singing and dancing to good ol’ theatre tunes.
I related a lot to Sayde at the beginning. She’s grown up in a quiet, small minded and uneventful town and she’s just yearning to burst free. She has a passion for musical theatre and when she finds Demi, she latches onto him because he’s the first person to share interests with her. At the same time, she’s not exactly the musical triple threat that we associate with all theatre people. She’s a pretty boss dancer but unfortunately, she lacks training in singing and acting. I loved how Sayde wasn’t the sort of person to lie to herself. She knows she can dance, she knows she can’t sing and she also works to improve it. She’s not shy to walk up to director and point some things that aren’t working or things she doesn’t agree one. Despite the fact that her friends thought she was being whiny, I thought her actions were valid and brave. Demi also finds himself in the story. He fosters his natural talent in theatre as well as also embraces his sexuality. In his town, he is a closet gay and I loved how in this new world, he was able to be open about his identity without the fear of being judged or persecuted.
The best part of the story, of course, was the community. In the middle, everything gets shaky because jealousy gets in the way but as people acknowledge their mistakes and apologise, all is well. The main downside for me was definitely the ending. After the experiences of such a camp, the finale was anticlimactic. Our characters part ways without much of a goodbye or even then, without frequently communicating with each other. It was saddening to read such great friendships be made but not really upheld. That last scene provided some hope but MORE, I want MORE.
All in all, a really fun and light read about a world we all want to know more about but isn’t really focused on in the young adult genre.