by Lockhart, E.

Spending their summer at Wildewood Academy, an elite boarding school for the performing arts, tests the bond between teens Sadye and her best friend Demi.

/*Starred Review*/ 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. ((Reviewed April 1, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

A star-struck girl plunges into the crazed world of summer drama camp and tries to cope with friends, love and jealousy in this intense romp through the world of musical theater. Sayde and her best friend Demi, a gay, black, fellow musical fan, see themselves as the outré pariahs of their boring Ohio high school, but find themselves outmatched by the artsy denizens of their new environment. Rivalries rage as students vie for the best roles in the school's summer productions led by a callous but brilliant Tony-winning director. Jealousies swirl, talent shines and insecurities bloom amid the intense competition, reflected in Lockhart's zippy prose. The author deftly handles highly varied characterizations and vividly portrays the intense, sparkling and thorny aspects of the theater world. Who will win and who will lose? Anyone with the acting bug will grab this and devour it in one bite. Exhilarating. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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