Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies

My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff

Egmont USA

release date: May 10th, 2011

hardcover, 320 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: from publisher for honest review

description:High school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before 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, Zadoff's latest is a bromance, a love story, and theater story in one. The politics of love and high school collide as Adam struggles to find the courage to step out of the shadows and into the light.

Review: Every once in a while, I come across a book that reminds me why I love to read. I love being in someone else’s world, seeing things in a completely different way than I’ve thought of them before. Simple things that are around us every day, things most people take for granted. My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies is one of those books. I really, really enjoyed this one. I was so engrossed in this funny little snapshot in the life of Adam Zeigler that I sat down to crack it open and before the end of the day I had turned the last page.

The theater that Zadoff presents to us is like a world and culture of its own. And for the Monclair High Theater kids, it’s the tech crew (or Techies) against the actors. Each side thinks they are better than the other. Each side thinks the other will be the death of the current production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. No fraternizing with the enemy. And definitely no dating the enemy. So, of course, you see the West Side Story-esque romance coming a mile away, but it’s so well written, so charmingly entertaining, that it doesn’t matter at all.

Adam is a great character. He’s just a normal kid, worried about girls, worried about school, completely self-conscious about zits. He is a techie all the way, and lighting is his life. Adam’s actually somewhat afraid of the dark because every time it surrounds him, he has flashbacks of his father before he died. He has to deal with that, with the jerky hot-shot Derek, who thinks he’s running the show no matter who he steps on to do it, with a funny yet sometimes overbearing best friend, and with seeing what happens when he falls for a girl that is supposedly off limits…she’s one of them…an actor.

It was fun getting a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes workings of a theater production. I never really gave a thought to how the lighting changes the whole way the play is perceived. I learned a lot from this book!

This one was just a sweet, wildly entertaining read all the way through. It’s a great story about friends, love, loss, fear, self-confidence, and standing up for yourself. Oh, and light. It’s very much about light and every person’s moment in the spotlight.

Favorite quote:

“I don’t know how to talk to women,” I say

“News flash, you’re talking to me,”

“But you’re a techie.”

“I’m a female techie. Remember these babies?”

Grace sticks out her chest.

“Remember them? I almost lost an eye,” I say.

Visit Allen Zadoff's website here.

Purchase My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies at:

AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound


  1. Awesome review! I really enjoyed this one, Adam was a fun character to follow. I liked the behind-the-scenes bits too :)

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