Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Life, The Theater, And Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff

High school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is determined to win her over. But to do so, he'll have to defy his best friend and break the golden rule of his school: techies and actors don't mix.
I thought this was a cute book. Quiet, interesting, and a good coming of age story. Nothing really new here, though. And it wasn’t funny like Zadoff's first novel, which was a bit disappointing. I think I had really high expectations regarding the humor, though, so I felt the lack of it much more than if I’d read this book first. Newcomers to Zadoff’s work may not feel the same way.

I got frustrated with Adam for letting everyone walk all over him, even though it was clear why he was withdrawing into himself. I think that, since this is a concept often used, and the way it’s used here isn’t really unique, I lost patience with it a little too soon. That’s not to say Adam isn’t an interesting character. He is. The reasoning in his head as he tries to figure out Derek was fantastic. I think that's exactly how a teenager thinks, and his reactions to the complexities of high school are wonderfully realistic.

The ending was a little over-the-top-tear-jerker for my taste, and the bow wrapping everything up was a bit too perfect. The story was still solid and enjoyable, but it didn't have that polished feel, where everything is connected from beginning to end. Again, I think I had such high expectations from his previous book that I didn't enjoy this as much as I could have. But I can see teens galore loving this story, boys and girls alike.


Anonymous said...

I do like the title. I haven't read a lot of YA, but I like the premise of a book for teens that centers around theatre. My oldest daughter is enrolling in Drama this next school year, so this might be a good read for her.

Tabitha said...

This would be an excellent read for her. Even though it didn't 'wow' me, it's still a very good book that kids will relate to.

Kelly Hashway said...

I can't get over the MC's name. I swear theirs a writer with that name. This is going to bug me. I should be writing but now I'm going to have to Google it.

Tabitha said...

Well, Zadoff always uses his initials for his main characters. Maybe that's it? Or, perhaps, Adam Zeigler sounds a lot like Adam Sandler?

Or maybe there's a writer out there named Adam Zeigler...this is going to bug me, too. :) If you find it, please share!

cleemckenzie said...

Isn't there an actor named Adam Zeigler? It is very familiar.