Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers: S.M.Stevens

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!) As I always state in these reviews, I could not run this blog without the support of such incredible authors, and having received five books in the past week or so I am extremely busy reading and reviewing! Remember if you have a book you would like reviewing do you hesitate to send me a message through the contact page on my ‘Review Requests,’ page! Anyway, right, I won’t waste any more time, the stage is set, the actors are ready, the curtain is about rise, get ready for the show!!

Finally, a novel for teen lovers of musical theatre and show choir! Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers takes you deep into the heart of a high school drama program, with its creativity, camaraderie, politics and, well, drama. Join Sadie Perkins in her quest for a lead role, as the Crudup High School drama club makes its own musical out of Twilight. Intrigue abounds. Why does Sadie’s rival Lucey really get the role of Bella? What’s behind foreign exchange student Nigel’s interest in high school theatre? And where does the show’s director, Mr. Ellison, disappear to three days before opening night? With everything falling apart, can the cast even pull off 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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