mylittlebookblog Reviews Bit Players 3

The final review by mylittlebookblog on the Bit Players series is here! Thanks to blogger Lizzy Baldwin for continuing to support the independent authors of the world, and for taking a chance on theatre-focused YA fiction. Here’s what she had to say about Bit Players, Bird Girls and Fake Break-Ups:

“Good evening readers, this post comes from a little blogger who is feeling very sorry for herself. A late night party left me unable to move till around three in the afternoon yesterday and a late night last night has left me feeling a little tired but you know me battling through. I am super snuggled on the sofa with wine and chocolate and I cannot wait to bring you this review. I have already reviewed the first two in the series and this is the third and final installment that I’m actually really sad about but for now onto the review.

“Senior year is not going as planned. The drama club Sadie Perkins co-founded is being hijacked by the new director, college applications loom like a sinister unknown, and Sadie’s boyfriend Alex moves in with her family while his mother is in the hospital. That’s right, moves in. They eat every meal together, sleep across the hallway from each other, and share a bathroom. Can you say awkward? Making it worse, they have to pretend to be broken up, or Sadie’s old-fashioned parents won’t let Alex stay. Acting and real life blur as Sadie and Alex struggle to maintain their roles, so Alex doesn’t have to move in with out-of-state relatives. At least Sadie has theatre to keep her sane. She’s got a lead in Seussical, and satisfies her need to create with Whossical, a student-produced satire of the beloved Dr. Seuss-themed musical. If Sadie’s choosing and winning the roles she wants, why does she feel so out of control? Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 8.47.05 AM

“So, like the first two books the story revolves around the theatre theme; when I first started reading the books I wasn’t sure but I am actually really going to miss them. It allows for a constant mixing of storylines between both the actual characters and the way that they play the characters on the stage. I really like the way it allows the characters to have alter egos between their real personalities and the characters that they play. Throughout the books I have been more and more drawn into the relationships; Alex and Sadie have continued to grow throughout and the way that the author works with the two, mixing and matching the problems they must go through, it just made me more desperate for them to succeed and to leave the end of the books happy (you’ll have to read the books to find out!). I must admit the author really goes for it in this book. Like the books before there is a major production but there is also a soccer championship, the continuing love story, and a life threatening disease! Could they really fit anymore in?! I must admit I was shocked the author managed to weave it all together but she does it with not only skill but also a delicate touch.

“Throughout the series I have been amazed by the maturity the author has been able to put into the book. For me I was worried when reading I thought that it would all become a little YA, but instead because of the mature storylines it makes the book much more adult and allows the book to be read by a wider audience. I mean I really enjoyed all the books and will definitely be reading them again. There’s something kind of wonderful about YA fiction and I think if adults also truly enjoy them then it’s a big thumbs up to the author. The writing moves with pace as before and doesn’t bog down in the description. I would normally complain here but I think it works with the genre and the overall feel of the book so no complaints here. It is very obvious that the author really knows the subject that she is writing about it and it gives the book a really professional feel; as I’ve said before!

cropped-mlbb-hor-cleanI thought in this book that Sadie really came to life in a way that I was hoping for. I don’t know how she does it but her interpretation of a growing teenager who is going through so much is wonderfully realised and created with maturity but also naivety. She manages to pair her burgeoning teenage mind with the creative theatre element that comes with being the main character in the book. I loved this piece of work; it is fresh, honest, new and creative. It works because it feels so real even though there is so much content. Once again hats off and jazz hands to this wonderful author.

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Curl Techniques

If you’ve ever wondered how to get different types of curls using your curling iron, have a look at a Pinterest pin Tiphanie G. recently put on my Bit Players board for Hair & Make-Up Ideas for Stage. I always knew that twisting or wrapping different size chunks of hair got different results, but I never really understood why. These pictures make it easy to get the flat or ribbon curl vs. a tighter spiral. Perfect for theatre-lovers or anyone who likes to play princess!

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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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