mylittlebookblog Reviews Bit Players 2

Thanks to Lizzy at mylittlebookblog for her review of Bit Players, Bullies and Righteous Rebels! I encourage you to check out her blog as she posts oodles of entertaining book reviews – I think she reads a book a day! In the meantime, I’ve posted her review below. (And for those of you wondering at the spelling of ‘characterisation’, it’s not a typo – that’s the British spelling.)

cropped-mlbb-hor-clean“Stevens has done it again and has created the perfect book for teen lovers of musical theatre and show choir. Once again, a book of dance, drama, show business, friendship and musicals! Wow, such a lot packed into one extremely thoughtful book, strung together with well built up characters and a strong message to boot.

“Once again the book has extremely strong characterisation; Sadie as the main character has grown in stature and comes across as a strong and more mature character. I really wanted to see her thrive in the first book, and through this book she has really grown into herself and has become more of character in her own right rather than an unlikely main character. Additionally Alex has grown from a side-character to a main character, and although the story revolves around his potential involvement in the bullying, I couldn’t help but be happy that he has matured and become his own person, and equalled the strength of Sadie as a character.

“Once again the supporting characters are just as well described, especially Foster, who the story revolves most around. By bringing forward a supporting character and revolving the story around them it makes the story feel like an episode in a popular teen show such as a Glee; this add s a modern feel to the story and adds a popular culture edge that will bring in and entertain young adult readers.

BP2 Cover from CS with border“This is further mirrored in the way that the songs for the play are modern songs adapted to the drama that was unfolding on the stage. Once again by imbedding modern songs in the book it adds a modern edge and I was equally impressed that the author could take such a classic book as Wuthering Heights and bring it so up to date. Once again it was nice to be able to sing along to the songs, and look them up to listen to the rhythms and get a real feel as to how the musical would have been like. Once again it makes the book a lot more interactive and allows you to really get involved with the story.

“Additionally I loved the addition of a storyline that looked at the difficulty of bullying. It is in an incredibly important issue in schools, and to tackle it in the book although a tiny bit clichéd really worked here and was dealt with, with maturity and understanding. It also allows for a really interesting ending that pulls all the strings together, whilst also taking the reader by surprise. By the end I had worked out who the bully was however it took me a little while and the way that the characters deal with said character is a little mean, but it helps to bring an end to the destruction.

“Like the first book once again the book entwines a little mystery, with friendship, trust, confusion, love and overall drama. The characters have a real sense of truth to them and are well bodied making it easy to imagine them. I thought that this book was a little more glee-like which didn’t appeal to me as much, however I still greatly enjoyed the story and the mystery that the ‘bully-storyline’ created. The discrimination towards Foster is handled with dexterity and is very relevant in today’s world and in Stevens’ tackling such a tough topic it only helps to show how skilled she is as a writer! For me the book was a little short, however for younger readers, it is the perfect length to keep the attention and to pull the reader along to the very last page! Brilliant, and definitely worth a read if you love theatre!”

 

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Theatre Professor Gives Bit Players Rave Review

five-starsFeeling pretty good right now, because Walter R. Stump, an author himself and Professor Emeritus in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine, posted a 5-star review of Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups on Amazon! I’ll let his beautifully flowing writing speak for itself:

“I have to say, while Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-ups is not the kind of book I generally read, Ms. Stevens has written an excellent novella. She expertly weaves her own experiences in the theatre into her tale of high school thespians. She drew me into her story and held me there, which is not easily done. I marveled how she kept the plot moving through all of its manifestations; a soccer championship, a love story, an original satire, a life threatening disease, a surreptitious tryst and a major production. She does it all with verve and professionalism. She obviously knows her subject and makes her book readily accessible in a way that enhances the story line and makes the whole brew not only believable but informative. Her best work is in rendering her main character, Sadie. Stevens captures the impossible twists and turns of a teen age brain. She restructures syntax, develops a new writing structure and captures a burgeoning theatrical mind with its creative offshoots and raging hormones without damaging the story or character. I have to admit my overly mature mind heard echoes of a long passed teen age life. I loved this piece which discovers the true essence of growing up, parenting and those of us who need it, a refresher. Bit Players is truly a remembrance du temps perdu.”

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“I’d So Rather Be Reading”…a Bit Players Book

Id So Rather Be ReadingI’d So Rather Be Reading, an awesome blog for book-lovers, featured Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups today. Have a look, and follow the blog if you’re an avid reader, as it has regular reviews of new books to check out. Thanks, ISRBR!

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500 Pinterest Followers!

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The Bit Players boards on Pinterest have 500 followers as of today!!! Thanks to everyone who has re-pinned from my theatre image boards. Special thanks to those who have added pins to my boards, and commented on them. Let the pinning continue! :-)

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Emptiness

An empty school? Cause for celebration. Seniors are out soon if not already. Underclassmen have to get through a few more weeks in most parts of the country and then the halls will be making that beautiful, echo-y sound for a few months.

An empty school auditorium though? Simply sad, no matter what the time of year. No more shows for most middle and high schools at this point in time. Just remember, there’s always next year…

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mylittlebookblog Reviews Bit Players 1

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Lizzy Baldwin writes mylittlebookblog, a tremendous blog on books, including reviews, news and musings. And I’m not just saying that because of the glowing review she posted today of Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers! I’ve been enjoying Lizzy’s blog for a while now, and you should seriously check it out. However, the topic of this post is her review, so here it is:

“Theatre lovers brace yourselves; if you love theatre, drama, young adult fiction, or just enjoy a sing or a dance, this is the book for you. Goodness! It’s all got a bit theatrical here at mylittlebookblog. The first thing to say is thank you to the author for sending the trilogy of books to me. I am currently sinking my teeth into the second and already absolutely love it! (So expect a review soon!)….Anyway, right, I won’t waste any more time, the stage is set, the actors are ready, the curtain is about to rise, get ready for the show!!….What a story! This book definitely has the reader racing to find out what will happen to this loveable cast of characters. On the front of the book it reads, ‘A must have read for fans of Glee, High School Musical and Twilight.’ I completely agree with this, it has a Glee-like-feel that really sings throughout the entirety of the book. When I first read the premise of this book, I wondered how well theatre could be made into a fiction narrative and was interested to see how well it works; well let me tell you, it works incredibly well here!

“What I loved most about this book is the strong characterisation. Sadie, the main character, has such a strong build up of features that you cannot help but feel drawn to her. I was rooting for her the whole way through, lacking in confidence, but incredibly talented you cannot help but will her to succeed. When the characters are built up so extensively, the plot hangs together so much better and this is definitely proven in this book!

“The supporting characters are just as well described, I loved Foster and imagined him as this incredibly dramatic and theatrical actor, with a passion for playing the lead role, and Nigel, a British exchange student with a rough outside core but a soft centre who, much like Sadie, is addicted to theatre and British old-school punk. I could quite honestly go through and create character profiles for each character as they are so well described and created that they all stand very easily on their own which is a great credit to the author.

“The book also deals with a number of struggles that teens go through and mixed this in with the relief they feel when performing. This allowed the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of the characters, and also added sub-plots that relieved the reader at times from the use of theatre. This allowed time to step away and discover more about the characters, and then apply this back to the drama club. It is a brilliant way of writing the book as it allows for the weaving of different characters and emotions whilst also further exploring the character profiles!

“In terms of the plot I loved the way that the songs for the play, ‘Twilight the Musical’ were modern songs adapted to the drama that was unfolding on the stage. By imbedding the songs into the book as images, it meant that you could not only read them but also you could easily look the song up and sing the songs along with the altered lyrics, (which I did for all of them!) It makes the book more interactive and allowed me to really understand the play that the students are putting together.

“The writing is also incredibly fluid and at no point does it become stilted but instead it moves with pace pulling the reader along. I also loved the way that author used Sadie’s playwright mindset, to script parts of the book as you would for a theatre production. It added another texture and form to the book ands helped to embed the theatre links with even more gusto. I thought it was a brilliantly clever addition to the book! The book also has a pretty explosive ending, which I had not envisaged at all; this was well written and well thought out as to not become over-the-top, or absurd, but was managed extremely well, whilst still packing a big punch.

“I could not help but sing my praises for this book; it screams drama, theatre, and show business and is definitely worth a read if that’s your kind of thing. I thought it was a lovely book with a real understanding of the genre that it is describing. A light-hearted read with some brilliant writing and an exceptional understanding of drama! *Rippling of Applause can be heard*”

 

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Steam Heat

I’ve been away from my blog for a while, but for good reason: a show, of course. Helping out with the local high school production of “The Pajama Game”. For those who don’t know it, it’s set in a 1950s pajama factory, where labor issues are brewing. And of course there’s love, because it’s a musical. The script is mildly sexist, very off-color, and completely inappropriate. The songs are good to awesome, especially this one, Steam Heat. You feel like you’ve seen it before, but it never gets old. Watch more Pajama Game videos on my Pinterest board or YouTube channel.

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