School Library Journal
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Gr 7 Up-Welcome to the New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts, the most prestigious school of its kind in the country. Alternating chapters each follow a different student who wants to make the most of senior year: Carter, a former child star who questions becoming an actor; Ethan, a gifted songwriter who may never be able to express his true feelings; Sophie, a cutthroat and competitive singer who will do whatever it takes to make it to the top; and Emme, a songwriter who has always been most comfortable in the background and struggles to find the courage to take center stage. The ending offers no surprises, but getting there is half the fun. Through each teen, readers are exposed to the many ups and downs of life at a performing-arts school, and the format makes for a quick and compelling read. Although the characters can feel one-dimensional at times, readers will enjoy this lighthearted novel and the message to take chances and be true to oneself.-Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Fans of the musical Fame will be intrigued by this book that goes inside the walls of a prestigious, fictitious New York City performing arts high school. Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club) rotates among the perspectives of four promising students: Carter, a childhood star turned teen idol who is having second thoughts about his acting career; Sophie, his wannabe-diva girlfriend who basks in his limelight; Sophie's longtime friend, Emme, a talented songwriter living in Sophie's shadow; and Ethan, another skilled composition student, whose unrequited love for Emme has led him to make some bad decisions. The author sustains dramatic tension as she explores how her protagonists' relationships and dreams for the future evolve during their high-pressure senior year. As the students prepare for final auditions, there are expected instances of sabotage and betrayal, but the cutthroat competitiveness is balanced by quiet, thoughtful moments of soul-searching regarding stardom, the creative process, and doing and sharing what they love. Readers who love seeing underdogs come out ahead will be delighted with the conclusion. Ages 12-18. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.