cover image Dramarama


E. Lockhart, . . Hyperion, $15.99 (311pp) ISBN 978-07868-3815-8

Lockhart (The Boyfriend List) sets the stage for teenage drama in her latest novel. Sarah feels like she has a “Lurking Bigness” inside, putting her out of step with the other girls in her Ohio hometown. She meets Demi at an audition for a summer theater program, bonding with the black, gay transfer student who is equally obsessed with drama—and equally alone. (He even gives her a new name: Sadye.) But at Wildewood, Demi—and several new friends—get lead roles, while Sadye ends up with bit parts. Lockhart has crafted a believable teen protagonist: Sadye loves drama camp, but is often jealous of those with more talent, including her best friend. She is compelled to speak up to directors because she has what she feels are “concrete ideas” for improving productions, but Demi reminds her, “You’re here to work. To be humble. Not to have attitude and be all defensive all the time.” The drama camp setting is portrayed realistically and even readers who are not theater buffs will learn a thing or two about costumes, direction and acting methods along the way. It is easy to get swept up with these enthusiastic students who hug and kiss “even when they’re competing with each other,” and who break out into an early-morning rendition of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on a dare. In the end, this production has more than enough energy—and honesty—to captivate its audience. Ages 12-up. (May)