Take a Bow – Elizabeth Eulberg

Synopsis

From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

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.

Review

This book was so darn cute. I couldn’t put it down!

Although it was written in four different perspectives, it really centred around two of them (and truthfully, one of them supported the other). I cheered for Emme and Ethan, but felt like Carter’s perspective was often unnecessary and interrupted the flow of the rest of the book. He had his own angst and his own issues, but they were so far apart from the others’ problems at the time. He wasn’t even really part of the same CSA stratosphere, even from the beginning (and especially by the end). I guess it was nice to see his perspective though, to understand why someone would throw away all the glitz and the glamour.

I’m also glad we saw Sophie’s point of view, even though she had very few chapters and was really more of a background character. Otherwise, I’d have a difficult time empathizing with her and she’d seem like an utter monster. But fame and vanity do strange things to people. It was sad to see her grow so little over the course of the book. But hopefully she’ll get a wake up call one day. Everything already seems to be catching up to her, so I hope it’s only a matter of time.

I rooted for Ethan and Emme all the way through. Jack and Ben seemed like such wonderful friends, and I got so invested into the band and each of their characters. The ending was absolutely satisfying too. While it wasn’t a perfect, fairytale ending, it seemed deserved (based on hard work, effort, and ambition). I’m glad Emme finally shone in the spotlight, but I felt like Ethan got put into the shadows unnecessarily. Just because Emme was good didn’t mean Ethan was suddenly bad. Then again, performing seemed effortless to him. I’m sure he could reach new heights if he applied himself more, but he didn’t want to. And that’s not a bad thing, because he simply prioritized other things first. It was his decision, much like Carter’s big decisions.

Overall, Take a Bow was heartwarming and bright as gold. Eulberg has found a new fan.

Related Reading

  • Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway
  • Starstruck – Rachel Shukert
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Think Glee, High School Musical, or Fame

Rating: 5/5

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