Oh, this was wonderful vacation reading (though I got some odd glances on the airplane when I started giggling helplessly several times). The three boOh, this was wonderful vacation reading (though I got some odd glances on the airplane when I started giggling helplessly several times). The three books (which I have in an omnibus) are set in the Canadian city of Salterton, home of two cathedrals, one university, and many fascinating people. As they share a setting and some characters, the books comprising the trilogy (Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice, A Mixture of Frailties) are interconnected to a large extent; they could certainly be read independently, but I prefer to have read them together to follow larger developments in the lives of the characters. All three books are very funny and warm, with a style reminiscent of Trollope; the third book is perhaps the best, with the most developed plotline, though I also really liked the behind-the-scenes comedy of the first book. ...more
Sadye and her best friend Demi are finally getting away from their boring Ohio hometown; they're going to drama summer camp at the Wildewood Academy oSadye and her best friend Demi are finally getting away from their boring Ohio hometown; they're going to drama summer camp at the Wildewood Academy of Performing Arts, where they hope they can be the razzle-dazzle selves they can't show in Brenton. Once there, Demi blossoms, showing off his great voice and fabulous stage presence and hooking up with guys in the open for the first time, but Sadye finds that she doesn't fit in as well as she'd hoped.
Most of Dramarama is excellent fun, particularly for a musical theatre fan like me. There are lots of theatre details and backstage gossip, and the tone is delightfully bitchy and witty. The characters are great, especially Sadye and Demi; Lockhart does a wonderful job showing how their relationship changes because of their different reactions to and experiences in camp.
However, the ending was a letdown. I can see that Lockhart was trying to avoid the usual "heroine triumphs in end-of-summer show" thing, and I totally understand that, but what replaces it just felt kind of...flat to me. Still, on the whole, I enjoyed Dramarama a lot and will be looking for more Lockhart.
ETA: On third read, I think I appreciate the ending more. It's still flat compared to the ending one might expect, but it feels more emotionally real....more
A group of talented children comes together to form the Blue Door Theatre Company. I figured I would like this, because I do like backstage-type booksA group of talented children comes together to form the Blue Door Theatre Company. I figured I would like this, because I do like backstage-type books (like Noel Streatfeild), and I did, though oddly, it took me a while to get into, perhaps because it took a while to get to know each of the characters. I did like how the group's experience with creating and acting their own plays turns into, possibly, actual careers, rather than just being a one-time or holiday thing, and it makes me particularly eager to track down and read the sequels. (Though since they're all out of print, I think that's going to take me forever.)...more