Dani Shuping's Reviews > Drama

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
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Aug 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphic-novel

ARC provided by NetGalley

Callie loves the theater. She knows she can’t sing (she and her family discovered that early on) but she’s a fantastic hand for the stage crew. This year she’s the set designer and she’s planning on creating a set that will put all others to shame. One small problem...they don’t have much of a budget. And ticket sales just don’t seem to be there yet. Plus there’s all kinds of middle school drama around and she just might have her first crush or two! How will the play ever happen with all of the drama? But Callie and her friends will make it happen or collapse trying.

Just like Smile this book is sure to have a bit of controversy because Raina writes about real life, such as relationships both male and female and male and male, which is bound to cause some readers angst. But here’s the thing...everything that Raina writes about in this book is stuff that kids face in real life, regardless of whether parents and adults want to admit it. Raina accurately captures the feelings of confusion, infatuation, of the journey of discovering yourself, that we all experience in middle school and this is what her readers relate to. And it’s why this is such a great book, because even as a male reader I related to Matt and his confusion over how to approach Callie (which is something that still confuses me to this day.)

Raina’s art style is deceptively simple, but I love it. It reminds of “The Kids Next Door” cartoon (and yes that’s a good thing) with how things are drawn and the colors choosen. She quickly and accurately captures the movement of characters and brings them to life with the expressions on their faces. They’re expressions that I remember seeing growing up (and still see today come to think of it) that make the characters feel real. The colors are spot on perfect as well. But my favorite scenes of the book come right at the beginning, when we see the stage curtain go up. It sets the tone for the entire book and makes everything fantastic.

In short, Raina once again captures the essence of what it’s like to grow up in the real world and she has created a charming and unforgettable story that will appeal to her readers. Raina’s fans are sure to love this book just as much as Smile if not more. I give the book 5 out of 5 stars and I eagerly await the next book from Ms. Telgemeier as she continues to grow and thrive as an artist and a storyteller.
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