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The Backstagers and the Theater of the Ancients

(Backstagers #2)

by
4.16  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  29 reviews
After all the backstage ghost drama during Phantasm, things are quiet for the Backstagers of the St. Genesius School Drama Club. Too quiet. But when that quiet is filled by a mysterious voice that haunts the Backstagers day and night, they set off on a globetrotting adventure to discover the ancient secrets of the legendary artifacts of the theater. Can they solve the myst ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2019)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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McKinlay
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*I received an e-arc from netgalley and the publisher. This does not affect my review.*

[4.5 stars]
Like every other Backstagers book/comic, this was fantastic. It remains entertaining, and adorable, and diverse. In this book they put on a play where the main character is Deaf and they make a point to have the original actress drop out so a Deaf actress can take her place. Such awesome rep! The only reason I docked it half a start is I felt like some of the magic was missing because Jory seemed s
...more
Laura
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prose
Really good. I adore these characters and this world and am thrilled to have more of them. With this volume, it was clear that Andy had found an amazing rapport with them too. Good stuff!
Jonathan
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
The Backstagers get caught up in a plot to steal a magical artefact that Jory has in his possession. The musical the kids are performing this time is Tammy (not Tommy), a show that is all about inclusivity, the underlying theme to the second novel in the series.
Liesl
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Backstagers" is an unashamed love letter to theatre, with some ghosts and supernatural activity thrown in, and I love it. Once again, this latest installment in the Backstagers series combines an interesting fighting the supernatural plot with the process of running the latest school show. "Tammy" is a very obvious reference to "Tommy" and knowing the show quite well, I had fun picking up the different references to how they were staging the production. This book also starts getting into th ...more
Stephanie Bange
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
The stage crew from St. Genesius Prep have just wrapped up the ghost drama “Phantasm” and are about to tackle a version of the rock opera “Tammy” with a deaf actor in the lead role. The mysterious Designer’s Notebook that Jory inherited seems to have caught the attention of some sinister forces. It is all the Backstagers can do to keep it away from them.

The writing is simply awful. It would probably be better appreciated if you have read all of the graphic novel series or the 1st in this series.
...more
Sabrina Kaye Fox
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this one up shortly after I finished the previous book and was not let down in this one either. Fantastically imaginative and fun.

In this novel, the Backstagers are putting on a show called Tammy, where the main characters is deaf. I loved the idea of having an actual deaf person playing the lead in a play, super inclusive!

Technology plays a massive role in this novel as well. It shows how much we seem to rely on it to make our lives look perfect, when in reality we all know that's fa
...more
Olivia
Disclaimer: I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley!

Review originally published on my blog, Books and Big Ideas

I read and reviewed the first Backstagers book last year and I’ve been looking forward to the sequels, and here we are! These books, written by Broadway actor Andy Mientus, are actually a continuation from a comics series that I haven’t read yet. Because of this, it took me a little bit to become accustomed to the fantasy world and alt
...more
Roger Hyttinen
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Backstagers series, a junior fiction series based on the comics by the same name, and all of our favorite characters from the first book are back, including Reo, our loveable witch.

In this story, our characters are putting on a play called Tammy, a rock-opera that revolves around a deaf girl who is a whiz at the Skee-Ball game. This may ring a bell for those of you who are familiar with Tommy.

What’s lovely about this particular production is that Beckett, who’s d
...more
Kend
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The cute level ascends to shocking levels here in the second installment of the Backstagers junior fiction novel series, with outrageous amounts of relational drama, all dealt with according to the tastes and troubles of life as a young teen. As I mentioned in my review for the first book in this series, The Backstagers and the Ghost Light , the series skews pretty young—its main characters are juniors in high school, but the reading level is accessible even to tweens. The series is totally a ...more
Kristel (hungryandhappy)
Each and every moment of the show had been reimagined to highlight the overall message of the piece: how growing up feeling unseen and unheard can negatively impact a person for their entire life, but the things that makes them feel alien in the world can also be the very thing that ends up making them star.

Read it in one go, because how could I not? Engaging from beginning to end, I've come to care for each of these amazing and unique characters. How they have grown! I'm impressed and proud of
...more
Danii Allen
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-popsugar, lgbtq
Read as part of the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019, to fill 3) A book written by a musician.

I'm disappointed. I liked the first book, and I've read the comics and loved those, so I don't know why this is so different. This book feels significantly less cared for, like we've hooked them in on the comics and first book being good, now we can phone it in, which is just... yeah, disappointing.

The comics are full of so much character. Everyone plays their part and has a reason for being. This book w
...more
Wren
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/5

OHMYGOSH!!!!! This was even better than The Ghost Light. I am overwhelmed with how beautifully amazing this was. The audiobook read by the author is the best audio I’ve ever listened to, probably helped that the author is a broadway star.

This story is so important for the two big themes it addresses.

A deaf lead character in a musical actually getting to be played by a deaf actor.... that’s huge. Add in the fact that this book went above and beyond with is deaf rep, it actually described th
...more
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
For the second time, the Backstagers of St. Genesius Prep overcome a challenge related to the paranormal world beyond the Unsafe door while at the same time staging their school’s musical. This time the musical is Tammy, a rock opera with a Deaf lead. They break new ground by recruiting a Deaf teen, Adrienne, to play the part. Meanwhile, the Backstagers (regularly joined now by male witch, Reo and girls from neighboring schools, Bailey and Adrienne) are troubled by Jory’s strangely withdrawn beh ...more
Kris Ritchie
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5, for some ooc choices.

While I found this in the Young Adult section of the library, it definitely reads more middle-grade akin to the Lumberjanes book series. However, we get most of our set-dressing (wah-wah-wah) out of the way in the first chapters, with the rest of the book devoted to the main plot.

Moving at breakneck speed, we get a lot of bad decisions off the bat. Remember in the last book when none of the Backstagers shared anything that was going on until the end, and if they had j
...more
Camille
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just love Andy's writing so much. The subtle references to his professional life and the shows he did are so cute and I loved that he included a deaf/hoh narrative in the book. This is the second installement in a trilogy, the overall plot is really starting to unravel itself and I couldn't put the book down. I can't wait for the third book but at the same time I'm not ready for this beautiful world of theater and magic to end. ...more
Chris Lemmerman
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Short and sweet, this second visit to the Backstagers world expands on the idea of the seven legendary artifacts from the first novel as well as introducing some 'villains' that will likely persist into the third book. Despite the short page count, the story feels complete, and the characters all go on a surprisingly deep journey as they discover what theatre truly means to them. ...more
Alanah
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this series!

It is so inclusive, fun, and tackles 2019 teen issues wonderfully.
I loved that Adrienne taught the reader some signs in Sign Language, and that they talked about mental health, especially related to social media.

I seriously love this series so much. I can't get enough, praise it enough, or recommend it enough!
...more
Andrea
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one better than the first book. Mind you, that's probably because until I was halfway through the last book I didn't realise that it was a continuation of a comic book and had to stop and read all those.

I also really liked the little ASL diagrams that were sprinkled throughout. That way I can learn a few words that are useful and not the words to Jonathan Coulton songs.
...more
Ashley
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed how self-doubt was depicted in this one. I guess this just felt a bit more cliched. I will have to say that the representation of deafness made me very happy as did some of the relationships. I'll have a full review up soon. ...more
Matt Lazorwitz
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly wonderful. As someone involved in the theatre professionally, this book spoke to the importance of theatre being for everyone. It also dealt well with anxiety, something I know can be hard to talk about. And through all that, still remained fun.
Doug McCoy
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Seven word review = teen drama tome gives lonely students home.
Kest Schwartzman
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's hard to adapt a story from graphic novel to just... novel, but this story is still cute and the characters still appealing ...more
Heather
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
So cute, lil didactic.
Mackenzie
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Still super cute and fun!
Tonia Christle
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was dedicated to the cast of Deaf West's Spring Awakening, and written by Andy Mientus. Because of this, I was eager to read the D/deaf representation, especially. Knowing that Mientus did have input from a couple of DWSA castmates on the D/deaf character did show, as the representation was stronger than I'm used to. Still Adrienne read a bit like token representation. She's very much on the outside of the group and she didn't have much say over what happened to her. I did like reading ...more
elle buss
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
these books are so so so good. i'm biased because of how much i love andy mientus, but genuinely, there is so much excellent storytelling in here and i want everyone to read these books. and in this one, they deal heavily with deaf-related storylines, and it's handled so respectfully and beautifully. my little dwsa heart is sobbing. anyway read this book PLEASE ...more
Elliot Anderson
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Such a good sequel to the first story and a great addition to the whole series!! I love this band of misfits so much
Jen Blum-Tatara
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2020
A.
rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2020
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Andy Mientus is an actor, musician and writer best known for starring in the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening, Les Miserables, and Wicked, and on television in the NBC musical drama “Smash” and as Hartley Rathaway aka The Pied Piper in the hit CW series “The Flash”. Andy co-wrote the new musical Burn All Night which had its world premiere at Oberon/American Repertory Theater at Harvard Universit ...more

Other books in the series

Backstagers (3 books)
  • The Backstagers and the Ghost Light (Backstagers #1)
  • The Backstagers and the Final Blackout (Backstagers #3)

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