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She was just big-boned, big-nose Sarah living in Brenton, Ohio, where, as she puts it, committing suicide would be redundant. Then she meets Demi, who is trying hard to be invisible--surprisingly easy considering he's black and gay. Alone they are, well . . . alone, but brought together by their love of musical theater, they light up. All this might sound like a stereotypical take on gay men and the women who love them, and there is some of that, but there's also so much more. The renamed Sayde and Demi make their way to a summer theater camp, and that's where things change. Encouraged to become part of the ensemble, Sayde finds she is too opinionated to do that, even as it turns out that she is less talented than she believed. At the same time, Demi is discovering that he's a star who can hang out with actual boyfriends rather than Sayde. Lockhart mixes this all up neatly. Most of the story is told in a bright, bitchy voice that, while familiar, is very smart and very funny; transcripts of tapes made for posterity add delicious detail. Although it's hard to say what kids who aren't into musical comedy will make of the myriad detail offered here ( Birdie! Cabaret! Cats! ), theater lovers will applaud, and everyone else will appreciate the twists and the ending you don't see coming. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2007 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-The stage is calling to Demi and Sadye (aka Douglas and Sarah), so they're off to Wildewood Academy's summer theater program for eight weeks of showtimes, show tunes, and show-offs. The teens enjoy the whirlwind pace of the theater, but their close friendship begins to fray; Demi gains fame and gets a boyfriend, while Sadye clashes with her roommates and fights with the directors. When the pair are caught drinking on the campus rooftop, Sadye takes the fall so that Demi can remain at Wildewood. Strong secondary characters round out the plot; the gay relationships are mostly chaste, featuring kissing but avoiding more physical encounters. Teens will identify strongly with both the heartbreak and the humor in this authentic portrayal of friendships maturing and decaying. Those who don't follow musical theater might not recognize the show titles or tunes, but the campy spirit of the book shines through, regardless. An effervescent read, this is an excellent purchase.-Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Lockhart (The Boyfriend List) sets the stage for teenage drama in her latest novel. Sarah feels like she has a "Lurking Bigness" inside, putting her out of step with the other girls in her Ohio hometown. She meets Demi at an audition for a summer theater program, bonding with the black, gay transfer student who is equally obsessed with drama-and equally alone. (He even gives her a new name: Sadye.) But at Wildewood, Demi-and several new friends-get lead roles, while Sadye ends up with bit parts. Lockhart has crafted a believable teen protagonist: Sadye loves drama camp, but is often jealous of those with more talent, including her best friend. She is compelled to speak up to directors because she has what she feels are "concrete ideas" for improving productions, but Demi reminds her, "You're here to work. To be humble. Not to have attitude and be all defensive all the time." The drama camp setting is portrayed realistically and even readers who are not theater buffs will learn a thing or two about costumes, direction and acting methods along the way. It is easy to get swept up with these enthusiastic students who hug and kiss "even when they're competing with each other," and who break out into an early-morning rendition of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" on a dare. In the end, this production has more than enough energy-and honesty-to captivate its audience. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved