Author: Raina Telgemeier
Description from Goodreads:
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
As the title suggests, this graphic novel centers around a middle school theater production. This year, the school play is Moon Over Mississippi, a Civil War musical full of romance and drama. Of course, there's even more drama off-stage than on, which is super accurate for theater productions everywhere, I think. I love how much detail there was into the production of the costumes, the set, the lighting, etc. The characters really got to show off their passions, and the theatrical stuff was obviously important and not just there to serve as a backdrop to the romantic drama.
When the story opens, the heroine, Callie, is walking home from school with Matt, her friend and also the lighting designer, and Greg, his baseball-playing brother. Greg has just been dumped by his girlfriend Bonnie, and Callie, who has had a crush on him for a while, goes for the opportunity. I freaking love that Callie is the kind of girl who goes for what she wants, who will risk embarrassment or rejection. I'm not like that, but I really admire her for it. She's also the kind of girl who will get up on stage and audition (badly) to make a friend feel better. Callie has serious guts.
Unfortunately, things don't turn out quite the way she hoped. Rather than making her his girlfriend the next day, Greg ignores her and, when she confronts him, tells her that he's getting back together with Bonnie. She doesn't have too much time to mope, however, because she has big dreams for her set design and plenty of work to do to achieve them. Also, she meets cute twin brothers, Jesse and Justin, interested in helping out in the theater.
Drama captures the emotional confusion of high school and the limited time span of middle school crushes. When I was that age, like the characters here, I had SO MANY CRUSHES. Seriously, I had like no type at all. That's one thing that rings false in a lot of the YA books that I read: the characters are always so set on one person and in love forever. Let's be honest, most teens have so not made up their mind, attention drifting from one person to another. Callie feels drawn to several different guys, and some of the other characters are also unsure which romantic interest to pursue. On top of that, the story is totally lgbt-friendly, which I love.
If you like theater and cuteness, I definitely recommend Drama. It's such a quick read and it made me smile many times.