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You in Five Acts

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  623 ratings  ·  146 reviews
It’s always been you—you know that, right?

Five friends at a prestigious New York City performing arts school connect over one dream: stardom. For Joy, Diego, Liv, Ethan and Dave, that dream falters under the pressure of second semester, senior year. Ambitions shift and change, new emotions rush to the surface, and a sense of urgency pulses among them: Their time together i
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Hardcover, 327 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Razorbill
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  623 ratings  ·  146 reviews


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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
"It felt like our time had run out before it started."

Five friends belong to a posh ballet school; all are a little similar, all a little different. The book is divided into five acts, each told unconventionally in a blend of first and second person. The person narrating is in first person, and a different friend each act becomes the second person POV, constantly being called, "You" by the first-person narrator. This became easier to digest over time as I grew used to it, but it was still awkwar
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Sylvie Bower
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK DESTROYED ME. I made the very bad decision of bringing this book with me in a cab and I ended up sobbing on Broadway.

I thought Una LaMarche couldn't outdo herself after finishing Like No Other. I was wrong. The writing in this book so real, the characters so much more than what they seem on the surface, and the storyline is brutal. Even so, I could not let myself put it down, while also not wanting to finish it. The format of this book is devastating, each perspective making it more a
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Jen Ryland
Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Overall, I really enjoyed You in Five Acts It's a combination of a Fame-inspired story (a group of high school students who attend an insanely competitive NYC arts school) and an issue book.

The narrative structure is a bit experimental and may not be for every reader. As the title would suggest, the book is narrated by five different characters. Normally, that's about three too many narrators for me, but I still thought it worked.
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
3.5 stars

In a lot of ways, You in Five Acts isn’t my sort of book. I mean, I’m all for ballet, and I am more likely to pick up a diverse book, but heavy books are a struggle for me. It’s typically hard enough for me to focus on positivity without reading stuff that depresses me. However, Una LaMarche thoroughly impressed me with both Like No Other and Don’t Fail Me Now, so much so that any of her books are must reads for me. You in Five Acts doesn’t disappoint, but, yeah, it’s definitely fucking
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Morgan Wilson
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I couldn't stop turning the pages and I hated taking breaks from reading this book... It's beautiful and powerful and heart-wrenching.
☆☆Hannah☆☆
Mar 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
I did not like most of the characters. I did not enjoy the plot very much. Most importantly the ending sucked terribly. If it wasn't for this being a BR I would have abandoned it.
Brittany
How I Came To Read This Book: The publisher sent me an ARC.

The Plot: The book is told in five different sections (technically six), each from the perspective of a different character attending a prestigious arts high school in New York City. It's actually told in a reminiscent perspective as the characters pull together their stories of the wheels that were set in motion, leading to a tragic incident in their lives (there's a Looking for Alaska-style countdown at the start of each chapter too) r
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Tellulah Darling
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-adore
You In Five Acts GUTTED me!! By the last chapter I was flipping pages as fast as I could, given my fumbling fingers and ugly crying. It’s all I’ve been able to think about for the past few days and I both love and hate La Marche for this beautiful, devastating read that I can’t get out of my head.

Let’s back, up shall we? A couple years ago, I went through a phase where I seemed to keep finding YA books featuring girls with dreams who blew them off for boys. And I remember wondering why these wer
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Shay Seymour
You In Five Acts tells the story of five teens in a school for the arts and how their compiled mistakes let up to a tragedy that they wished they had prevented. Joy is black. Joy is also a ballerina. Most people think that those two things are mutually exclusive and Joy wants to prove them wrong. Olivia has a problem, her parents don't care means she stops caring. She's got herself caught up in something she can't get out of. Diego has been in love with Joy his whole life, the only way he is abl ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I received an ARC copy of YOU IN FIVE ACTS from First to Read in exchange for my honest review.

Five students at a high school for the performing arts prepare for senior showcase.

YOU IN FIVE ACTS is told from the second person POV by each of the five students. The You for each POV is the object of the narrator's affections. While each character had a distinct background, I never felt like I got to know any of the characters on a deep level. I never felt their sorrow and pain.

My biggest criticism
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Emma
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I was all set to give this book a solid four stars until the ending because, like, what?! I mean, there were definitely hints, and big ones at that, but it still seemed to come out of nowhere. Overall, though, I really liked this book. I love stories about friendships, and the musical references were giving me life. The way it was written in five different second person POVs was really interesting too.
Hanna Fogel
I could have lived without Dave and Ethan's POVs, and even Liv's. But Joy's and Diego's? Loved.

Thanks to Penguin/Razorbill & Edelweiss for the ARC.
Larosenoire299
4.5/5

Reading this book is like watching a Korean soap opera - quite dramatic. But some parts are beautifully-written, they touch me and tear my heart out.

You in Five Acts is told from the 5 perspectives of a group of friends who studying at a prestigious performing arts school. Each act is a new person directly talking to someone they adress as "You". It takes me few chapters to figure out who is who, who is you. And then I come up with a conclusion that you is the one that person care about. Wi
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Abbie
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted so, so badly to love this. The premise is something that fits me so perfectly.... like fame, etc.

But, something about it was incredibly uneven. I felt the characters were not all treated fairly. I wanted more of Joy, Diego and Ethan. I wasn’t that interested in the Liv/Dave plot.

This is also I think the first time ever that a tragic ending has left a bad taste in my mouth. It was just so... out of nowhere? Didn’t ring emotionally true with the rest of the book. And we got no closure wit
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Natasha
You In Five Acts is the kind of book that a lot of young adults should be reading because not only is it captivating on a plot level, with main characters that are relatable and diverse, but it discusses a lot of issues confronting teens today. The main character, Joy, was pretty much me in a nutshell and Lamarche had me written down-pat and I was gobsmacked at how realistic the story and the characters were. A definite recommendation for any teenager because whilst there are prominent political ...more
Liv Caks
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woah, that was a read!

This book explored super powerful themes of perfectionism, drug abuse, depression etc. with strong, emotional characters who had a chance to share their voice and story throughout the five "acts". I definitely saw the ending from the start but it still was impactful and thought-provoking.

Overall 4/5 - if you're looking for a contemporary novel based around performing arts (specifically ballet and acting) with deep themes and a powerful message, this is a good book for you
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Nadia Uhlenhaker
I found Una LaMarche's writing to be very beautiful and unlike something that I had never read before. But that wasn't enough to make up for her lackluster characters and slightly cliche story. I fell in love with Joy and Diego. I even felt enough sympathy for Dave to tolerate him, but I flat out hated Liv and Ethan. The story was also cliched, but it was different enough to keep me reading and keep me interested. All of that being said, I will definitely check out more of Una LaMarche's books.
Sadie Janelle
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of the best books i’ve read in a long time, maybe ever. The characters all have amazing stories and despite everything, I felt myself really get attached to them. That made the ending absolutely DEVASTATING. This story takes place in a field that I love, which immediately drew me to it, but the characters and the plot and especially the writing style kept me engaged the entire time. 10/10 would read again and again and again.
Cara
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, especially because it is written in 5 "acts" from each of the main characters points of view which was really amazing. I would definitely recommend oh my goodness. The whole book keeps dropping hints from the first page that it's leading up to something, which just made me want to read it more.
PS: I definitely cried a lot
Jaycee Bond
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books, moments
3.5

Guys, I was so pumped for this book! It was like a step up or high strung movie, BUT A BOOK! BEST OF BOTH WORLDS AM I RIGHT?

So it started out with a lot of potential, it was fun to read all the different perspectives (I especially loved Joy's character!). But what ruined it was all the sjw moments. A few in the beginning weren't bad but then it became overload. And some of them were false information!

OK losing wifi, will finish later
Annabelle
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The ending was so unexpected I thought I knew what was going to happen but boy was I wrong.
Liralen
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Warning: some untagged spoilers ahead.

Huh. So the 'you' of You in Five Acts rotates with each POV: each of the five POV characters has a you, one of the other characters for whom they have romantic or tumultuous or complicated feelings.

The story is structured like a play, but with a countdown to the end of the semester: senior showcase, which has the capacity to make or break dreams. It's less pressing for the actors of the group (Liv, Ethan, and Dave), perhaps, than for the dancers (Joy and Die
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Jen
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
**I received this as an egalley through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**

Being a set and lighting designer for theatre, I was immediately drawn to this story for its premise of being about performers. It follows the lives of five different characters who lives intertwine during their final semester at a performing arts conservatory in ways that will change them forever. Although I was not overly thrilled with three of the five characters' stories, the two that I loved made this story b
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The Real Girl
I was cautious of this book in the beginning, my best friend pulled it off the library shelf and told me to read it, so I had no choice, but the cover, to be honest, was repelling me. Its not a pretty cover. Its not even an okay cover. Its ugly. The title? Weird. A little confusing. The description? Not particularly descriptive. Suffice it to say, You In Five Acts is not something I would have picked up off the shelf myself. I'm compelled to beautiful covers, so sue me.

This book turned out pret
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Meg
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
It's hard to put my finger on exactly what I disliked about this book. I thought the characters were well-done and realistic (except for maybe one, who I'll get to in a minute) and the book explored some real and important dilemmas. Especially thought the character of Ethan was well done.

I think what it comes down to is that I felt like there was something manipulative about the book. The over-the-top foreshadowing irritated me from early on, but that is a pet peeve of mine so I tried to set it
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Amanda
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
A story about friendship, romance, heartbreak, peer pressure, and substance abuse. This book centered on five teenagers in a performance arts high school, told in each person's POVs. Two of the teenagers are dancers, and the other three are in drama, and they all are trying to figure out how to deal with their current situation while preparing for the biggest showcase of the year which will determine their futures. It's difficult trying to figure out who's the character is talking to every time ...more
Alicia
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
http://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2016/11...

I only feel a little bit bad admitting that I only wanted to read this because Lin-Manuel Miranda mentioned it on Twitter (apparently he and the author are friends from college) and thus it became this year's selection for Thanksgiving Sister Book Club. It was a pretty solid read--it's about five teens at a performing arts high school, told from each POV, leading up to some terrible act. The foreshadowing, especially early on, is way too heavy handed, and
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Anne Meester
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, contemporary, ya
I am conflicted about this one. I liked the way the shifting POVs layered on each other and carried the story forward to its rather grim conclusion, but I didn't at all love the way these teenagers made such concerted efforts to ruin their lives. They made poor choices, treated each other rather badly most of the time, and were, it seems, ultimately given a pass by the author because of...racism? Joy's struggle against the odds rang true, and deserved an honest look. But the dramatic events at t ...more
Heather A
I recieved a copy from Penguin First to Read.

I used some of my points from Penguin First TO Read to secure a review copy of this one. Unfortunately it turns out to be a very swift DNF for me. I'm not rating because I only read 13 pages but it's enough to know I can't bear the writing style. It's second person and I really loathe second person. It's always along the the lines of I said this and you smiled at me. I hate reading about characters referred to as you rather than their name. That style
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Walt
Mar 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
I severely disliked this book and couldn't sleep last night for stewing over it. The author is very heavy handed with the foreshadowing, which gets annoying very quickly. The different character perspectives are an interesting idea, the character's voices are not well established. As others have pointed out, Joy and Diego are the most compelling, but all of the characters are archetypal and stereotypical. The ending was, as mentioned above, infuriating. I did enjoy the modern references and ins ...more
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Una LaMarche is a writer and amateur Melrose Place historian who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, her son, and her hoard of vintage Sassy magazines. Una used to be a fancy magazine and newspaper editor before she had a baby and started writing from home, sometimes pantsless, for a living. Her first novel, Five Summers, is being released from Razorbill in May, and she’s currently in de ...more
“We'd never talked about it, but I figured you knew the rules. If a cop stopped, you didn't run, you didn't talk back, you didn't ever, ever get angry. White people could do that—hell, they could shoot up a church and then ask for Burger King—but not us. We got killed at traffic stops for speeding, for having broken taillights, for knowing our rights.” 3 likes
“You can’t worry so much about the future. It’s coming, it’s gonna happen, and it’ll be beautiful and terrible but everything will be OK.” 0 likes
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