Friday, September 4, 2015

[Review: Exit Stage Left by Gail Nall]

"Exit Stage Left"
Author: Gail Nall
Series: None
Pages: 356
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Date Published: September 8th, 2015
Publisher: Epic Reads Impulse
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via NetGalley) for honest review


In this funny and sweet digital-original novel perfect for fans of Fame, Casey works to find a new passion after her dreams of becoming a Broadway star are ruined.

Casey Fitzgerald has always been an actress. She's known it was her destiny ever since she snagged the role of "apple" in her kindergarten's production of The Food Pyramid. But when she doesn't get the lead in her performing arts high school's production of The Sound of Music, she begins to question everything. Not getting the lead means no recommendations, and no recommendations means she can kiss good-bye any chance of getting a scholarship to the prestigious New York College of Performing Arts.

After some soul searching and some wise words from her friend Harrison, Casey decides to totally reinvent herself. She's already ditched her on-again off-again boyfriend Trevor and is interested in the new boy at school, so why not start fresh with everything? But every new destiny she tries doesn't seem quite right. And when her best friend, Amanda, who did get the lead, starts hanging out with Trevor, Casey's not sure if she'll ever be able to leave the drama behind.

Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Exit Stage Left,

I honestly don't know what to say. I didn't like you at all. I thought we'd get along, I thought you sounded funny, but in the end you didn't cut it. At all. Your characters just didn't work for me. Though I will admit that your plot was okay. Maybe if we had a different set of characters I would feel differently about you, but as it stands, we just didn't get along, and that's okay too.

-The White Unicorn 

After the first couple chapters of Exit Stage Left I knew we were doomed. I didn't listen to that feeling, and I was hoping I was wrong, but in the end I think I should have gone with my gut. Now, I don't think that everything about this book was unlikable, and I actually think that other people will connect with the material, but I didn't. Nall came up with a fun plot. I'm always interested to see someone reinvent themselves, and I think that this was the best part of the book. There are some minor spoilers ahead, so be warned.

Then the characters happened. I think they all showed promise to begin with, but then they started showing their true colors and I just couldn't get behind them. Casey is really selfish, and I don't think that that changes over the course of the book. She keeps making these choices that made me literally shake my head at the book. I think I would have liked the novel more if I would have seen character growth, but all I saw was someone whining about not getting what they wanted and then getting it anyway. 

I really wanted to like Harrison and Amanda, but I felt like they were both really stagnant. They were letting Casey act however she wanted, and they bent over backwards to make her happy. They never stood up for themselves and what they wanted, and in the end that caused a lot of the drama in the book. 

And poor poor Oliver. Oliver with the hero complex who has no idea how awful Casey will end up treating him. Actually he got a chance to see it pretty clearly and yet he still just went along with it. Seriously, how Casey treated him throughout the book made me really sad, which made me really sad to see that their love "bloomed", and they got together in the end.  

Honestly, this book really frustrated me, and I wish that it hadn't. But it is what it is. 

1 Unicorn = No, just no!

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