Published by HarperTeen on December 1, 2020
Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Nina LaCour, this #ownvoices romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley has something for everyone: backstage rendezvous, deadly props, and a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to True Love.
Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything.
What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.
Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.
Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.
I don’t even know where to start with this review. This book was just… an absolute roller coaster of a read. I laughed. I cried. I got angry. Sometimes all during the same scene.
First of all, I obviously loved the fact that this centered around musical theatre. The Dear Evan Hansen references! The Legally Blonde the Musical references! Just so, so, SO fun. Also, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but I loved how almost all the characters names could be seen as references to broadway actors/characters. Maybe I was just seeing things that weren’t there, but.. Evan Newton? Evan Hansen and Olivia Newton John? Dominic Connor? Connor Murphy? Anyway, maybe that was just my broadway-obsessed mind getting the best of me, but it was still fun to think about, hehe.
I both loved Mel and was incredibly exasperated with her all at once, but she was also a very relatable character. She had so much character growth by the end of the story, and I was so happy for how her story ended. I also loved Odile – who gave me serious Serena van der Woodsen vibes. Am I the only one who saw it? I really loved Mel and Odile’s relationship and how real it felt.
I adored Gabby and Dom, as well, though I would have liked to see a little more of Mel and Dom’s friendship.
Even though I gave this book a 4.5, there were definitely a few things that bugged me. First of all, the slut shaming. I don’t even need to explain why. That should be obvious. The slut shaming was just absolutely gross. I think the worst offenders involved in this were Nick and Jasmin. I grudgingly admit that they had some redemption near the end, but I still don’t forgive them. Related to that, my other issue with this book was how horrible Mel’s friends were to her. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve encountered a friend group as bad as this since I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I honestly can’t decide who had worse friends – Mel or Simon.
Other than that, I really loved this book. I loved the way everyone came together by the end of it to put on the best damn show they could. I loved the character growth. I loved the broadway references. And I loved how much it made me feel. Whether I was grinning like an idiot at it or glaring viciously at it, this book made me feel SO many feels.
Overall, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book and HIGHLY recommend it for fans of broadway musicals and delightful rom-coms.