Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: April 1, 2012 
Publisher: Point 
Source: Library
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.
After enjoying Elizabeth Eulberg’s earlier novels, The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom and Prejudice, I was highly anticipating Take a Bow, her third novel. The premise sounded amazing (I love all things that have to do with performing art schools) but with four different points of views, Take a Bow lacked in some areas. While it was just as fun to read as Elizabeth Eulberg’s other novels, Take a Bow was too short for me too clearly connect with any of her characters and I found myself disappointed.

For starters, this felt more like Emme and Ethan’s story more than Carter’s and Sophie’s, the later have very few chapters to themselves, making it nearly impossible to get to know them. Not that I wanted to get to know horrible, horrible Sophie who only thought of herself. She was manipulative and annoying and very selfish and the kind of girl I want to slap across the face. I liked Carter but I felt that writing his chapters in script formats was a little awkward when placed with the other normal chapters. Emme. Oh, dear, dear Emme, what am I to do with you? First of all, Emme didn’t seem to have a spine! She let Sophie drag her around and treat her more like her personal assistant rather than her friend. Throughout this novel, even if Emme didn’t seem to be oblivious, I WANTED her to speak up for herself! I didn’t want her to be treated like crap! Ethan too needed a spine and besides that, he needed to be a man. During this book, I wanted to grab Ethan and put him in front of Emme because it’s clear that he’s in love with her.

The plot was interesting but for such a short book, not fleshed out enough! I love all things performing arts school so I wanted to see more of how the school functioned. Yes, it’s important for the characters to have their story told but they do need some background, which I felt was not there. Plus, this plot mainly revolved around Emme and Ethan’s relationship and their own personal goals. Both had to change throughout the book to get to the place they wanted in life. After a while, it got really old. I mean, how many times do I need to see Sophie treat Emme like crap, which makes Ethan angry, and then Carter comes in to try and ease the situation?

I did like Elizabeth Eulberg’s writing but I wanted more. For some reason, I wasn’t as impressed with Take a Bow as I was with her debut, The Lonely Hearts Club. Now that I think about it I feel that her main leads tend to be kind of alike, like they could be friends or siblings even. Sure Emme didn’t have as much confidence as her other two previous leads but their voice wasn’t different. Basically, I wanted some development in Elizabeth Eulberg's writing which I don't think I got.

Overall, I was disappointed in Take a Bow. For a book that sounded really good and I had hoped it would deliver, it really didn’t. By the middle of this novel, I just wanted more: from the plot, the characters, and even the writing. People should give this one a try though! You might like it better than I did!
Cover Comments: 
I like it! It fits the book well and it's nice seeing (Emme?) from the back as if she's about to preform! It's a big deal for her in the book so I like it's significance. 
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