Emme, Ethan, Carter and Sophie are students at a competitive performing arts high school. Emme and Ethan are talented songwriters and members of the same band. Carter is a former child star who secretly wishes to leave the spotlight. Sophie is a singer who uses Emme for her songs and Carter for his fame. As senior year begins, all four talented teens are focused on one thing - the senior showcase, and what their performances will mean for their futures.
Though this young adult novel is told from four different points of view, and equal time is spent on each character’s thoughts, I thought Emme was the true protagonist, and I was very invested in what happened to her. I liked the fact that she was a talented, confident, and kind person, and I thought it was interesting to see how other characters either treasured or took advantage of her kindness. I thought her relationship to the members of the band, including Ethan, was very well-developed. The affection among those characters came through loud and clear in their dialogue and made me feel the same sense of warmth and comfort Emme feels when she performs with them.
Though she was not a likeable character, I also really enjoyed reading about Sophie. Her desperation and duplicity were somewhat one-dimensional, but I didn’t really care because she was so much fun to dislike. I was nervous every time I came around to one of her chapters, because I just couldn’t wait for Emme to figure out what a jerk she was, and how terribly she was being used. I didn’t like Sophie, but I thought it was useful to have her point of view so the reader understood that she didn’t really deserve the kindnesses Emme extends to her.
Finally, I really liked the romance that emerged between Emme and Ethan. Their complicated relationship provided a lot of twists and turns in the plot of the book and it was very satisfying to see them pulled apart and brought back together again and again.
Elizabeth Eulberg’s writing is very light and fluffy, with lots of dialogue and not too much in the way of description. This makes Take a Bow a great book for busy teens with lots on their plates who want to read something quick as a means of escape. High school drama club members, and other teens who like the spotlight will see familiar personalities and situations in this book, and will likely sympathize with the pressures of their chosen career path. Take a Bow will be perfect for fans of Eulberg’s 2010 novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, as well as Allen Zadoff’s My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies and Melissa Kantor’s Darlings series.
I borrowed Take a Bow from my local public library.