Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: April 1, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
Chasing Fame.Chasing Love.
Chasing a Future.
EMME has long lived in her best friend Sophie's shadow. She writes songs, and Sophie sings them. It's always been like this, and feels like it always will be.
SOPHIE will stop at nothing to be a star. Even if it means using her best friend and picking up a trophy boyfriend, Carter.
CARTER is a victim of a particular Hollywood curse: He's a former child star. Now all he wants is a normal life. But being normal is about as hard for him as being famous.
ETHAN has his own issues -- a darkness in his head that he just can't shake. He's managed to sabotage every relationship he's even been in. Emme's the only girl he's ever really respected... but he's not sure what to do about that.
Emme, Sophie, Carter, and Ethan are all students at a performing arts high school, where talent is the normal and fame is the goal. But sometimes, being in the spotlight isn't as important as the people you're sharing it with -- as the four of them are going to find out in Take a Bow, which is about the auditions life puts us through every day, both big and small.
Elizabeth Eulberg's Take A Bow has instantly become a new favourite novel of mine to read... especially when I'm in the mood for a contemporary tale filled with moments of self-discovery, good friends and a dash of romance to sweeten the deal. I literally have to tear my eyes away from its absolutely gorgeous cover to stop myself from admiring it for too long as well!
To be honest, a tiny part of me did worry that all of the characters would be selfish and self-centered snobs in pursuit of their dreams at their performance arts high school... but I quickly breathed a sigh of relief within the first few pages. Take A Bow is truly a story about friendships, and how a competitive environment can shape and mold them for better or worse. There are the friends who will let you down, those who will surprise you, the supportive kind who will always have your back... and the friends you just have to let go and walk away from at the end of the day.
The story switches between the perspectives of four characters – Emme, Ethan, Carter and Sophie – and follows through their senior year as they feel the pressure of performing at their Senior Showcase recital and applying to colleges to continue reaching their dreams in the show business. It could have been confusing with this many perspectives, but with Elizabeth Eulberg's extraordinary storytelling, it completely worked for the novel and I wouldn't have imagined it any other way. While I did think Emme and Ethan had the strongest storylines (and I rooted for them to be together from the very start!), nonetheless, all of the major and minor characters played an essential part in bringing the novel to life.
I had a feeling I would love Take A Bow because I've definitely enjoyed reading Eulberg's previous two novels, yet I still wasn't prepared to be so completely blown away. It's a book with a lot of heart and emotional times that will leave readers laughing, frustrated and hopeful along with the characters. And when I reached the final pages, I found myself wishing the story wouldn't end because I wanted to keep following the characters into the next chapter of their lives. A standing ovation is in order for Elizabeth Eulberg's best novel yet!
Thanks so much to Scholastic Canada for providing this review copy!