Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review: My Life, the Musical

My Life: The Musical by Maryrose Wood
3 stars

Reasons for reading: musical term for What's in a Name Challenge; YA Challenge

Description: "To best friends and devoted theater fans Emily and Philip, Aurora is no ordinary Broadway musical. Their love for the hit show (whose reclusive author has never been named) is nothing short of an obsession. Thanks to a secret loan from Emily’s grandma Rose, seeing the Saturday matinee has become a weekly ritual that makes real life seem dull and drab by comparison. But when the theater chat rooms start buzzing with crazy rumors that Aurora might close, Emily and Philip find themselves grappling with some truly show-stopping questions. What, exactly, is the “one sure thing” in show business? How will they pay back the money they owe Grandma Rose? And why hasn’t Philip asked Emily out on a real date? As they go to hilarious lengths to indulge their passion for Aurora, Emily and Philip must face the fact that all shows close sooner or later. But first they’ll put their friendship to the ultimate test, solve Broadway’s biggest mystery–and spend one unforgettable night at the theater."

My thoughts: Being a big fan of musicals, I wanted to like this one more than I did. I can't pinpoint what made it less enjoyable for me, exactly. Maybe I'm just too old, but I found Emily's constant lying to her parents and the easy way she took money from her rather dotty grandmother (both by being given it and by actually stealing it) pretty hard to take. The grandmother's constant refrain that Zero Mostel was the best Tevye ever started off cute but got annoying after about the 10th time. And I think the pace was supposed to resemble a musical, but I just found that too much happened quickly and (I have to admit, like every good musical) things were summed it very quickly and neatly at the end. Philip's encyclopedia-like knowledge of musicals was fun, but it really jarred with me that he hadn't seen The Producers. Why not? He'd seen every other musical, film and stage versions, from the past 50 years. And the cliche thing about whether a boy fan of musicals is gay or not was a bit tired. It also seemed odd that theatre freaks like Emily and Philip weren't in the Drama Club, but I guess they spent all their free time at Aurora.

It's not that it wasn't enjoyable, it just left me a bit cold. Probably teens who identify more with immediate-gratification Emily would like it more than I did.

1 comment:

Ann Summerville said...

I'm sorry this wasn't enjoyable. I seem to find more and more these days that I give up on novels after the first few chapters. The last book I read - by Harlan Coben - definitely didn't disappoint though. He's a wonderful writer.