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.
So maybe this is not the most positive way to start off, but in the spirit of all honesty I just want to say that I actually hated the ending of this book. I didn’t understand why Elizabeth Eulberg did what she did. Perhaps for drama, perhaps just to be different. Who knows but her? After all that that couple had been through, I didn’t get why she had to mess it up one more time. Now that I think about it, I think it was to create drama. But then to switch it all around and come back? No. That didn’t work. It wasn’t smooth enough for me.
But, still being honest here guys, I actually loved most of Elizabeth Eulberg’s characters.
First of all, I loved to hate Sophie. Sophie, I think, was Elizabeth Eulberg’s masterpiece. She was glorious. Remarkable. Triumphant. Now, you might be saying that I’m going off my rocker–especially if you know me….(wow, okay, didn’t think about that….) but that’s okay. Because Sophie’s worth it. Elizabeth Eulberg has made an annoying, wicked character that doesn’t annoy me to the point where I hate the book itself.
I actually don’t know how to describe this exactly. I don’t have much practice with it, since–as I said–there are few authors that can do this for me. Sophie was a terrible friend. More than that. A backstabbing, pretty-voiced Judas with a huge ego and a streak of meanness. But I could also see the better side of the basic human nature inside her. It wasn’t anything that was said, but rather a feeling that I got. And for an author to be able to do that, it blows my mind every single time. To not tell, but simply show–and have your reader completely understand.
I can understand if other people hate Sophie. Everyone’s annoyingness meter is different, but Elizabeth Eulberg hit the mark for me this time.
Then with Emme. Without Emme’s character, Sophie could’ve never been showed off as masterfully as she was in Take a Bow. Though Emme wasn’t as impressive to me as Sophie, she was still well-written and I really liked her character. She’s a sharp girl, doesn’t miss much. Except when her good-natured personality wants her to think the better of people. And I appreciated that part to her. Some authors write obliviousness very, very badly, and though I got kind of sore of Emme’s naivety, she wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought she would be.
Tyler, Jack, Ben and Carter were all really great as well. I don’t feel that they played as big a role in this story as Emme and Sophie. I don’t mean to say they weren’t good characters, I’m just saying that I feel Elizabeth Eulberg has more of an eye for girl characters than boy characters. I’m kind of going in-between opinions right now as to if Tyler was really necessary. I guess he was, but then again I don’t know.
You may be wondering what I thought of Ethan. Neither the synopsis on Goodreads or the synopsis on my hardback copy of the book are actually correct when it comes to Ethan and Emme’s relationship. Thanks to Emme’s oblivious nature, no, she does not “wonder if she and Ethan could be more than friends and bandmates”. And, on the other hand, Ethan does not just respect her–as it says on my copy. He loves her. Major crush time. That’s it. I thought Ethan was fine. He was the only character in the book I actually acknowledged that I didn’t really like, but he was fine. Just his darker personality got to me a little. It’s not that he had a dark past. Believe me–I’ve read plenty of those characters. It was just the way he reacted to situations, the way he handled the end.
As for storyline and character change, I was very impressed with the way Sophie, Emme, Carter and Ethan grew over the course of the story because of each other. Pacing was a little rocky, but it smoothed down just enough that the ending wasn’t necessarily anticlimactic, but not just right. All in all, 3.5 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 278
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