My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragediesby Allen Zadoff
High school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is
High school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is determined to win her over. But to do so, he'll have to defy his best friend and break the golden rule of his school: techies and actors don't mix.
Set against the backdrop of a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Zadoff's latest is a bromance, a love story, and theater story in one. The politics of love and high school collide as Adam struggles to find the courage to step out of the shadows and into the light.
Drama begets drama in this examination of relationships set against the backdrop of a high-school theater production. When his father died after a late-night car crash, Adam Ziegler withdrew from his friends and started fearing total darkness. His life is all about the catwalks in the school theater, setting up the lights for the current production, hiding from the domineering director and avoiding the actors that control the school's social structure. However, he finds that he can't resist Summer, a new actress who takes the lead after a sudden accident eliminates the former star. As he and Summer begin flirting, Adam finds himself at odds with the stage crew's unwritten rule that keeps actors and technicians apart—and under suspicion when other problems befall the production. Zadoff frames Adam and Summer's relationship roughly on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a rather effective vehicle for the romance. Overall characterization is a bit weak, with director Mr. Apple's over-the-top moments grating the most, followed closely by prima donna actor Derek's smarmy behavior. Adam's attempt to hide from his friends inadvertently locks his personality away from the readers as well, though flashes of both humor and sadness leak through his shell. Though not a Broadway sensation, this mostly solid tale ultimately appeals. (Fiction. YA)
Meet the Author
Allen Zadoff is a former theatrical director who now works as a writer, teacher, and magazine columnist. His debut YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have was published by Egmont last fall and won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award given by the SCBWI. He is also the author of an adult memoir, HUNGRY: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and currently lives in Los Angeles. You can visit him online at www.allenzadoff.com
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