Take "Glee," toss it in Lincoln Center, shake out the bizarre stereotypes and you get "Take a Bow"—the third novel from author, Elizabeth Eulberg.
Elizabeth caught our attention when her first book, "The Lonely Hearts Club," received rave reviews from the writers of two of our favorite series: "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer and "The Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins. And while "Take a Bow" couldn't be further from the fantasy and dystopian novels story-wise, it's one read that kept us engrossed in the character's lives to see how it would all play out.
In the New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts, the competition is fierce. Friends compete against friends for roles in plays and spots in showcases and backstabbing becomes second nature. Everyday feels like an audition and if they don't nail it, it could ruin their plans for the future.
Emme is happy to blend into the background. She writes songs and her best friend, Sophie, brings them to life with her voice. That's the way it's always been and she doesn't see things changing anytime soon. Sophie is a girl with a plan—the Plan, in fact. The goal is to become a superstar, even if it means using Emme and her boyfriend, Carter, to get there. Carter is a former child star who lightens his acting load to try his hardest role yet: a normal guy in high school. And then there's Ethan: he's incredibly talented and he's considered the best musician in school. His problem? Everything else.
Our four leading characters know it's going to be a busy and stressful year with the Senior Showcase and college auditions, but nothing prepares them for the backstabbing and shocking revelations that happen before graduation. With the loss of relationships and the gain of confidence, "Take a Bow" will have you rooting for Emme, Carter and Ethan as if they were your own friends. And while Sophie is less likable, Elizabeth gives the self-absorbed drama queen a softer side in the voice of Carter. He sees how Sophie's confidence has been stripped away these past few years leaving her feeling dejected and worthless.
The book is written so that each chapter is from a different character's perspective, which gives Elizabeth the ability to make Carter's look like a script. It's a small, unique feature that gives the novel a sweet touch. With lines that made us laugh out loud—usually coming from Jack and Ben, Emme and Ethan's cheeky band mates—and a few romances just waiting to unfold, "Take a Bow" is one page turner that has us yearning for an encore.
Have you read "Take a Bow"? What did you think? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!