My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: 2012
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Romance, Plays, Friendship
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
This is my fifth book from Raina Telgemeier, so I’m familiar with her style. That said, I find this book to be the weakest, less captivating and most dramatic graphic novel she’s written/illustrated.
Drama is to be expected. After all, the title is literally DRAMA. So I did expect it and was able to tolerate it – Actually, in many cases, drama can make a story more interesting. If I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy, it’s not because the medical cases are so darn fun.
It’s because of the drama. But unfortunately, although I found the story realistic and enjoyed reading about the behind-the-scenes of plays, I could not connect with the heroine as well as I could with the other heroines Miss Telgemeier introduced us to in her other works.
I mean, she’s ‘‘ok’’. Naïve, overenthusiastic and a little too obsessed with finding a boyfriend, but she’s not unpleasant or unlikeable per se. Someone to read about but not someone to remember for a long time. Just… sort of forgettable.
Fortunately, there were other things to enjoy, as I mentioned above. Since I’ve never been in a play in my life—which kind of surprises me since I went to the same middle school as my brother and he got to do one—I had no clue about what transpires behind the scenes or how to actually organize everything for a play to happen. Now I know more about the subject.
And as always, the author’s illustrations made my day. They are so cinematographic that I had no trouble making an animated movie in my mind about the story I read about. If you ask me who I think was born to become a graphic novelist, the name Raina Telgemeier comes to my mind almost immediately.
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