Young first-time director Briar can’t wait to put her ideas onto a real stage. When she is chosen for a real chance to direct a student-written one act play, she soars. But working with real live actors proves to be more difficult than Briar imagined, and she’s forced to navigate everything her crew throws at her, from absence to bold-faced narcissism to outright boredom. With the date of the performances just a few days away, Briar is desperate to pull her disaster of a show together. Just as she begins to turn things around, disaster strikes, fragmenting the cast and leaving her without a lead. What now? Faced with the choice to cancel or muster through, Briar learns there’s a lot more to being in charge than telling everyone else what to do.
Each chapter begins with italicized notes setting the scene, adding to the stage-like feel of the story and Briar’s director-focused mentality. While the background conflict between Briar’s practical parents and her whimsical, often unemployed aunt adds to the story’s tension, it’s a little hard to swallow that a couple so concerned that their daughter pursue a “normal” career would send their daughter to a school for fine arts. Beyond that, however, this novel is highly entertaining and fast-paced. It’s a great read for anyone curious about performance art.
A boy attempts a dangerous stunt involving skates and a large ramp and winds up with a broken arm.