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Take a Bow – Elizabeth Eulberg

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Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Publisher: Point

Standing on stage: can you hear the applause? The loud cheers of the audience drown out the band as they start playing your encore number and the audience finally gets quiet. The lights dim then a spotlight is on your face and the song beings bringing the audience to its feet shouting they want more. Stardom! You can feel it! The electricity soaring through your body but first open your eyes and come back down to earth and realize: it’s just the beginning and you have many hurdles to overcome before you get that final curtain call and take that coveted bow.

Carter, Emme, Sophie and Ethan each want the same thing and have the same dream: that Emmy, Oscar or Tony that certifies and signifies the fame they all so desire. Each one talented in their own way and each wanting to stand out above the rest as Carter takes center stage in this novel first. Child actor wanting to please his stage mom, he takes roles that please her more than him. His true passion is to go to High School, meet other young actors and improve his skills. Emme, is sweet, talented and can write songs even for the stars that are quite famous today. But, Emme is stuck in the world of another girl named Sophie. She seems lost in her shadow and feels that she is not good enough to get anywhere even though without her Sophie would not be singing songs that would showcase her voice.

Sophie Jenkins is self -assured, self- absorbed and totally in control of her own destiny and that of others. Sophie’s voice will mesmerize the listener and take the audience on a journey along with Sophie as she sings the words and lyrics written by Emme. Her goal is to take charge and be on top at all costs. Ethan whose talent is more instrumental has other issues that come to light as the voices in his head conflict with those in the present and often create conflicts within him. So, how does author Elizabeth Eulberg bring them all together: The High School of Creative Performing Arts where the competition is stiff and only the best survive readmission each year. As Carter and Sophie seem to be linked together the others form their own alliance.

Ethan, Emme and two others Ben and Jack meet on the first day of school at lunch and later on in the present during senior year forming their own teen band and what leads up to it is quite funny and unique as Ben foretells their future and what just might become of them as rock band stars. Open the door and enter the school and meet the students, teachers and most of all our four hopefuls whose secrets are hidden from the reader right now but read on and you will learn what Emme and Ethan have yet to reveal as my review for Take A Bow continues.

Emme has created a song about the future for Sophie dealing with where you are already or now. But, instead of working with Emme she chooses someone else and although her friends and Carter alert her to the fact that it is wrong she justifies what her friend does and chooses to ignore it for now. The author then gives the back- story about Carter and how he deals with his first negative article and getting blindsided by a reporter with Sophie as his major support at his side. The person she is not the person she is now as Carter relates that her only goal is to top the competition no matter how. Spots for the Senior Showcase spots are definitely coveted and the first one sets the tone for the rest. Sophie is speaking and expressing her feelings and Carter continuing with his. As Carter relates his feelings about the competition, a role in a play by Shakespeare we learn more about him and his feelings towards his only competition Zachary. Explaining that he is a better actor and that he, Carter usually wins out because of his past and fame.

Carter does not really want to pursue his career in acting he enjoys art and would rather pursue one in that field and when he expresses his feelings to his mother the response is quite starling and seems supportive. As the date draws near for auditions for the Senior Showcase Emme needs to realize what Sophie did in order to face the fact that she might not be such a good friend. As she is announced her song is attributed to someone else instead of her and when her band members and Carter enlighten her reaction is truly different from what you would expect and Sophie is more concerned with her position in the auditions then the fact her friend might be hurt. Even when she covers and says we should practice together for the next audition Sophie skirts the issue. Carter is beginning to see the light with her and goes to the band’s concert and enjoys being treated as just Carter. Next, comes Ethan’s voice as he tries to tell Emme she needs to speak up for herself and the band discusses their futures and we learn from a conversation during the show about Ethan’s drinking problem and much more. But, Ethan has another secret he has yet to share with Emme and just how that will play out remains to be seen.

Carter drops out of school and decides on an art career and what happens that finally awakens Emme will definitely surprise you. Sophie is a user and when Emme reads text between her and her friend Amanda a harsh reality sets in or shall I say they might want to play the song True Colors with different words to tell Sophie hers are truly shining through. Emme receives the last spot along with the band in the Senior Showcase and one outburst from Sophie sets the school straight and many others as to her true personality. Emme is so kind she cannot take what she did but might finally realize it is her turn to be in the spotlight.

The big day is here and the nerves are tighter than that of tightrope or a rubber band stretched out to its limit. Energies are high, Emme is unsure of herself and the band and her friends are there for support. The ending is quiet dramatic as the unexpected might surprise you and the harsh realizations that some get might not change who they are but others. Emme learns to have faith in herself. Carter steps up as a friend and decides his own future. With a mother who supports him how can he not succeed.  Sophie needs to reassess herself and take a long look in the mirror before taking more bows and the rest you need to read for yourself. Read their final entries and learn what happens to them and where they plan to go. Learn that some never learn and others move on. Confidence, self respect, believing in yourself, loyalty, friendship and much more need to be learned before you get up and Take that Bow. It would be great if the author brought these four back after they graduate college to see where they are and where life has taken them

This is outstanding novel is great for music students, aspiring actors and for all YA’s and young teens to learn the true meaning of hard work, dedication and learning to be who you are and not what others what you to be.

Reviewer: Fran Lewis

Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and a PhD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children’s books and a fourth that has just been published  on Alzheimer’s disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of her new Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s Story. She is also the author of Because We Care and Sharp as A Tack or Scrambled Eggs: Which Describes Your Brain? Her latest book is Faces Behind the Stones. She was the musical director for shows at her school and ran the school’s newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request for several sites. You can read some of her reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished.com under the name Gabina. You can visit Fran at her website, blog, and book review blog.

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