Take a Bow
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Point (April 1, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
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.The 4 main characters of this book are extremely talented students at the New York City High School of Creative and Performing Arts. Sophie's big dream is to win a Grammy before she turns 20. Her plan for success includes singing an original song written just for her by her long time best friend, Emme Connelly. Emme is in the Music Composition Program and also plays guitar in a band with Ethan Quinn and two other guys. Carter Harrison is a former child star who is searching for a little normalcy and the true passion of his life. Sophie and Emme have been best friends since the third grade and have been working together since then. However, as they went through high school, Sophie's ambition heightened as her skills plateaued. As she felt her dreams slipping away, she becomes more and more desperate and willing to use anyone to find a place in the spotlight of celebrity. Sophie was very happy to be dating Carter Harrison and accompany him to openings and red carpet affairs even though her motivation wasn't Carter but to get her picture and name in the press. She was happy to use Carter in the same way that she used Emme. Emme was such a good friend that she was willing to drop anything to write a song for Sophie and rehearse with her, even if it meant that her own work didn't get done. Her dream was to graduate and attend the famed Juilliard School of Music. She didn't need to be in the spotlight but was perfectly happy being in the shadows, writing and playing her music. She was very clear about where she wanted to go in life and was therefore surprised that Carter Harrison, the child star and soap actor, seemed to be living a role rather than actually living his life. He was attending school in the hope of having a normal life for a change but soon realizes that he is still "special" even when he doesn't deserve it or want it. The story follows these 4 characters through their senior year of high school as they pursue their dreams of fame and fulfillment.
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.
This is not a long book and once I started reading it didn't take me long to finish it. I found the characters believable and the story very interesting. I do not have any firsthand knowledge of the world of the arts and performing so I don't know how accurate it is but I thought it was very good. These kids were basically good kids....no drugs, drinking was frowned on, no sexual episodes were described. Neither were they depicted as perfect angels who never did anything wrong. The story talks about the pressures and deadlines that these talented young people were facing as they tried to display their talents, keep up with their schoolwork and the occasional boyfriend/girlfriend. I liked the book a lot and am interested in reading other books by Elizabeth Eulberg. I would recommend it for younger and older teens.
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Profanity: Mild
- Violence: None
- Other Notables: Underage Drinking