Thursday, May 12, 2016

ARC Review: Spark by Holly Schindler

Author: Holly Schindler
Publication: HarperTeen (May 17, 2016)

Description: Acclaimed author Holly Schindler writes a compelling contemporary tale with a dash of magic. The theater comes to life in this story of family ties, fate, love, and one girl’s quest to rewrite history.

The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her about the tragic love that played out on the theater’s stage many years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to re-create for her drama class. And when she does, the Avery begins to magically regain its former splendor, clearly setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive the romance from a time before. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.

My Thoughts: This was a fascinating contemporary story with just a touch of magic. Quin is a pretty normal high school senior. She likes being average and fading into the crowd. When her drama class is tasked by her teacher - who also happens to be her mother - to recreate the production of Anything Goes in order to save the local theater from destruction, Quin finds herself mixed up in something big.

Her best friend Cass is to star. Cass has a marvelous voice that no one knows about because of her self-consciousness about the port wine birthmark on her face. The musical director is Derek who has a severe stutter. And Quin is set as director over them and the crowd of misfits who make up her Drama class.

Quin has always dreamed about the Avery, the theater they are trying to save, because it featured largely in the bedtime stories her mother told her. There was a tragedy there when her mother was young that left two star-crossed lovers dead on the stage. Ever since her mother has had a goal to reinvigorate the theater and the crumbling square around it.

We see what happened in the past through Quin's vivid imagination - or maybe magical intervention - and see the parallels between the past and what is happening now. And we watch the kids grow and change in ways they never expected as they work on this theater production.

Theater buffs and fans of star-crossed romance would be the perfect audience for this engaging story.

Favorite Quote:
I'm worried.

Actually, that doesn't quite begin to cover it. Saying I'm worried about the production is like saying you're mildly concerned about finding yourself tied up in the trunk of your kidnapper's car. This is a level of worry I've never reached before. It;s a level of worry I would never have believed, just a couple of months ago, was even possible.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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