Cathy's Reviews > Drama

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
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Jun 16, 12

bookshelves: arc, graphicnovels
Read in June, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Likeable follow up to Smile, but not as loveable and comparisons between the two will bound to occur.

Callie is a 7th grader who also happens to love theater and be a little boy crazy. When she confesses to her crush--she kisses him as he's talking about a possible breakup-- he reacts by ignoring her and luckily, there's the annual school play Callie can throw herself into.

Things get complicated (it's middle school, of course) and Callie does well with the crew working behind the scenes getting ready for the play (Callie's goal is to have a cannon fire on stage). As she helps announce auditions for the casting crew, she runs into twins Justin and Jeff....and soon a new set of Drama ensues.

As a middle schooler a little obsessed with musicals (it was Les Miserables for me too), Telgmeier accurately portrays the work, planning and craziness that goes on up to the day of the grand performance and likewise she documents the roller coaster ups and downs that happens amongst friends well.

As a reader though, I had trouble with how fickle Callie seemed, jumping from interest in one boy to the next and I was more concerned with how...blitheley she addressed the sexual preferences of her characters (spoiler alert: boys both gay and bi). Perhaps she's modeling the attitude of teens themselves who live with this more openly, but I couldn't help but feel the aim was for Callie to get hitched to a male figure.

Regardless, Telgemeier's aim focusing on all things drama stays true and the story ends on a happy if not predictable note (Callie does get attached to a boy). But yhe free spirit, openness and ability to laugh at oneself when young that was festooned in Smile seems to be missing in Drama. It's more serious, but I for one miss the fun I've seen in her work.
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