Friday, April 27, 2012

Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Take a Bow
By Elizabeth Eulberg
Published by Scholastic, Inc, 2012
288 pages (hardcover)

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform. (from

Take a Bow was kind of like “American Idol”, a teenage TV show, E! News, and a high school all rolled into one. And that is a good thing.

The story is told from the perspective of Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter. They all have their own hopes and dreams and, while their lives do intertwine, it is interesting to see how competition, admiration, friendship, and love factor into each characters thoughts and actions. True, by about 1/3 of the way into Take a Bow I had a pretty good idea of what the ending would be like, but that’s ok. Sometimes it is nice to read a book like that.

I liked that Elizabeth Eulberg turned some of the perceptions people have of actors/musicians on their heads. Carter isn’t a complete jerk and the composers aren’t odd eccentrics who write “new age” music that no one understands. Of all the characters, Sophie is the least used, the least developed, and the least likable. I really wish there would have been at least a few redeeming characteristics about her… she was just too easy to hate which made the other characters a bit too easy to like.

This book is for any fan of musical reality shows, books/shows about high school, or someone who wants a pleasant book about ridiculously talented teens.

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