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Monday, April 9, 2012

Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Release: April 1, 2012

Source: Blogger Tea
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom and Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

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.
Take A Bow is a charming look into the lives of four students at the New York City School of the Creative and Performing Arts. After beginning with a round-robin narration of each characters’ CPA auditions, the novel fast forwards to their senior year. And though each character has changed since his or her audition, all four find themselves at a crossroads as they begin their final year at CPA. These feelings of uncertainty are something even the most tone-deaf teen will be able to relate to, and precisely why readers will fall for Take A Bow.

In truth, this is not a novel about the cut throat world of a performing arts school; it is a novel about finding your voice – both literally and figuratively- and about how friendships define a person.

Best of all, Eulberg delivers these ideas with her usual brand of witty, engaging prose. The progression of the story feels effortless. Much like a summer breeze, the pages blow by sweetly with a languishing ease. Often, I looked up from the pages to discover that, in what felt like mere moments, hours had gone by. The story was so enchanting I simply did not notice the passage of time.

My absolute favorite part of Take A Bow, however, was Eulberg’s unique approach to narration. The novel spans a year in the lives of four very different teens. During this time, they have auditions and fights and life-changing moments. It would be impossible to fit all of these into a novel without overloading a reader. So Eulberg simply chose not to try. Rather than focusing on the “big moments,” Eulberg makes emotions the central concern. As a result, the narration is airy, with weeks and months passing between chapters. Though the characters may talk nonstop about an upcoming audition, readers never get to “see” it. Instead, they hear about it from one of the characters weeks after it has happened and instead “see” the emotional turmoil that results.

I found this style of narration to be incredibly engaging. Because the plot was never driving towards one big moment, I was able to sit back and enjoy the snapshots of each character’s life. I became invested not in the outcome of their careers, but in each character’s personal growth. 

Readers, especially teens, will relish the chance to escape with Take A Bow. It is the perfect book for a lazy spring afternoon and is sure to leave readers smiling long after the final page is turned.

4.5 stars!


  1. Hmm, I'm intrigued :) I really didn't like Prom and Prejudice- I found the writing style too simplistic- but I'd be willing to give this one a try!

  2. So excited for this one! I loved her previous two books and I am sure that I will love this one just as much or more. Hopefully my library copy will arrive soon :)


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