I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff
Also by this author: I Am the Weapon, I Am the Mission, I Am the Traitor
Published by Egmontusa on June 13th 2014
Buy on Amazon
Life can’t be lived behind the scenes.
High school sophomore Adam Zeigler thought the best way to live life was behind the spotlight. When his father died two years ago, Adam retreated into the world of the theater, ultimately winning a coveted place on the theater crew and finding (what he thought) was his place in the world, high above the theater floor in the lighting grid.
But then a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is determined to win her over. But to do so, he'll have to defy his best friend and break the golden rule of his school: techies and actors don't mix.
Set against the backdrop of a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, MY LIFE, THE THEATER is a theater story, a love story, and a bromance in one. The complexities of life, death, and high school are revealed as Adam struggles to find the courage to step out of the shadows and into the light.
I am pretty much in love with My Life, The Theater And Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff. I devoured this book in the span of a few hours. I’d say to myself just one more chapter until I finished it.
Adam Zeigler, sophomore, is a techie. Techies do not mix with actors at Montclair High due to some unwritten rule. Adam is alright with this, after all, he’s mainly concerned with lighting and life on the catwalk. This year Montclair is doing something completely new. The drama department is putting on a student-produced/directed version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, producer Derek is kind of a pompous ass, womanizing and takes credit for all of the good things other people do. Will Adam find the courage to break the rules, grow a set, and get the girl?
Okay, first of all, Adam is so endearing. I just want to smooth down his hair, buy him some Proactiv and say it’s going to be okay. We see him go from being withdrawn – which is understandable, after all his dad died two years ago – to really coming into his own voice. At first he’s painfully shy and awkward. He has these awesome ideas, like designing lighting a certain way, BUT stupid Derek has to be in total control of everything. But, it’s okay because the techies are a tight group. They have their own code. There is the leader Ignacio, who has ADD so he can focus on a bazillion things at once. Then there’s Reach, who is Adam’s best friend. Reach, holy crap, is so funny. He makes a bunch of smart-ass comments and I kind of would like to have a beer with him when he’s old enough. (Also Mr. Zadoff, please make a sequel starring Reach!) Also there’s Benno who has mutton chops and works a board that does some tech thing. Finally we have Half Crack, named because his ass is always at half moon. Okay, so back to Adam. I loved seeing him interact with the techies. I loved seeing him become friends with one of Derek’s old flames, even though that’s against code. AND the romance, oh the roms. It’s awesome to get it from the guy’s side, and not like a castrated guy either. There’s actually mention of boobs. And sorry, but that is what teenage boys think about. It’s what males in their mid-20s think about. I kind of get shocked when I read male character narrated novels and there isn’t talk about cleavage or any of that. Right, so Adam, he’s just at an awkward stage in life, and who doesn’t remember being awkward?
The romance in My Life, The Theater And Other Tragedies is delightful. I mean, it’s not on the level of Anna And The French Kiss, but it’s a bit better than insta-love. There’s a crush at first, sort of a big attraction, but it doesn’t immediately come to fruition. Plus Adam is so freakin’ shy, he has a hard time saying hey let’s date. Then okay, there’s mixed signals, missed opportunities. But no fear, you’ll get the chance to cheer for underdog Adam.
So, I am about to pick up a copy of Food, Girls, And Other Things I Can’t Have, because I fricken LOVED My Life, The Theater And Other Tragedies, and I think Allen Zadoff is a contemporary author to watch out for. Also, I really just like reading about males who are allowed to be males instead of some fantasy of how we wish guys acted.
Disclosure: Received for review.