Acting: A Novel

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Eve is a teenager in Eden, Michigan, who is infatuated with a fast boy—Lucious—and thinks often of having sex with him. Her Christian upbringing stirs up feelings of guilt, but she is drawn to him nonetheless—even while her twin, Al, turns up pregnant. Because she and Al are at odds over a months-old mix-up/betrayal, Eve is not told who the father is. (The reader, however, gets enough clues to identify the father early on.) Eve isn't getting along with her mother, either, due to a different recent betrayal. The nature of these key family relationships prior to this tumultuous time in their lives is hard to grasp, because the mother and sister seem so unnecessarily mean to Eve. The apparently important subject of acting is also not convincingly explained—both as it pertains to Eve's desire to be an actress, and her supposed penchant to put on acts with her family. There is some Biblical symbolism (Eve and Al in Eden, with Lucious—who even gives Eve an apple), and there are also parallels drawn between Eve's life and The Crucible (which is being performed at the high school). A deeper look at either of these literary analogies would make this a more substantial read, and one that could enhance high school English curricula. In general, the inner lives of the characters and the story's themes feel greatly unexplored, especially in light of the reader maturity level needed for the book's very graphic descriptions of teen sex. 2004, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 16 to 18.
—Jane Harrington
Kirkus Reviews
Eve Belinda grew up acting in all the plays written by her twin Al, the star student of the family. When Al announces she's pregnant and refuses to name the father, Eve comes under pressure to be the good twin. Eve knows she should avoid Lucious, a hot young stud with artistic inclinations, but she's unable to resist. As she becomes involved in the high-school production of The Crucible, her acting talents grow, and her chances to hang out with Lucious multiply as well. Sexuality is a force to be reckoned with, and all the adult pressures around the issue never manage to smother the fires. Along the way, the anger with parents and the hurt when shut out by a twin add depth that is surprisingly insightful on a tough topic. A somewhat rosy ending and an unlikely birth scene add to the drama but detract from the vividly portrayed honesty of Eve's first sexual experiences. Full of yo-yoing emotions many teens will recognize, this is a forthright examination of sex that makes plain how hard it is to keep the hormones from raging. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761451730
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Pages: 253
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherri Winston

Sherri Winston lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she is a columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The Kayla Chronicles is her debut novel.

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    Posted December 14, 2008

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