Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Review: Intermission

I've not read a YA novel in a while and this one left me with mixed emotions.

Sixteen-year-old Faith Prescott eagerly awaits the day she will exchange her small Iowa hometown for the bright lights of Broadway, but her success-driven parents want her to pursue a more practical career, labeling “artsy” people—including their daughter—as foolish dreamers worthy of little more than disdain.

When Faith meets nineteen-year-old Noah Spencer she discovers someone who understands her musical theatre dreams . . . because he shares them.

Faith’s mother despises everything about Noah—his age, his upbringing . . . even his religious beliefs—and she grasps at every opportunity to belittle his plans to study theatre and pursue a stage career. When those criticisms shift further toward hostility, resulting in unjust suspicions and baseless accusations, an increasingly fearful stage is set for Faith at home, where severe restrictions and harsh penalties are put in place to remove Noah Spencer from her life.

But Faith has never connected with anyone like she has with Noah, and no matter how tight a stranglehold her mother enforces to keep them apart, Faith will not give him up. Behind the curtain, Faith's love for Noah continues to grow . . . as does her determination to hold on to her dreams—and him—no matter how high the cost.

About the Author:
Serena Chase is the author of the critically-acclaimed Eyes of E'veria series and a regular contributor to USA TODAY's Happy Ever After blog. A lifelong performer who sometimes speaks in show tunes, Serena lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a 100-pound white Goldendoodle named Albus. 

My Review: 3 stars
I have mixed emotions regarding this story.  It’s unique, that’s undeniable.  I’d never read anything of Ms. Chase’s before and hadn’t picked up a young adult book lately, so I decided to give this one a go.  I was curious to find out what would happen next, but I didn’t feel I ever really connected with the characters.

 It also felt over-dramatized at times, but then, the main character is an actress and is planning to major in drama, so it’s really not that farfetched.  In the end, it did have a good message, just a bit of an odd route to getting there.
This story is written from a single perspective, Faith’s, in the style of a journal entry or her telling someone her story, and at times felt a bit flat.  I’ve read other reviews that spoke about how deeply they were touched by this story, but I really struggled to connect with Faith.  She endures a lot throughout the story, from the highs of being on stage and having a “boyfriend” who understands her love of theater, to the lows of arguments with her parents and fighting for the future she’s often dreamed of calling her own.  This story encompasses so many of the emotions and questions that teens struggle with as they search to find their place and figure out who they’re supposed to be.  

As far as the relationship between Noah and Faith, that was something else I found to be rather unusual.  I’m honestly not even sure it could be considered much of a relationship, since it was kept so light and they were kept apart for most of it.  I found the idea that they could be “just friends” strange, because that was basically what they were anyway.  Though I did appreciate how the author kept reiterating how important it was for Faith to be honest, despite her desire to simply work around her mother’s rules and skirt a few lines.  Speaking of Faith’s mom, her character was one that definitely didn’t compute with me.  I really thought she was just crazy, or Faith was exaggerating in her retelling.  It honestly didn’t cross my mind until I was reading the author’s note that she was supposed to be an example of verbal and mental abuse.  I’m not really sure how much reading the story with that in mind would change my opinion or perspective.

Overall, this is a story that is unique in several respects.  It contains a good message and a strong sense of morals, and I would definitely recommend it as a clean, Christian read for any teen.

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my review!  Fortunately for you, since I always struggle to write less than sterling reviews, it's shorter than my usual ramblings.  :)
As always, links are below and I hope your day is spectacular!

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