“Dreams didn’t follow logical, step-by-step patterns. They swirled, never taking you down a straight path.” // Review of “The Others Side of Perfect” by Mariko Turk

Title: The Other Side of Perfect
Author: Mariko Turk
Genre: Contemporary
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 25/05/2021 – 27/05/2021
Rating: 
★★★☆

Review: 

I was so excited to win an ARC of this book in a giveaway. There aren’t too many books that cater to us musical theatre nerds, so the fact that the MC was doing the school musical and that was a major part of the plot made me very keen!

I loved the content from the other musical theatre kids – it was kind of cool having the main character as an outsider and having those references explained, so that those readers less initiated into the world of musicals would be able to at least understand a bit. And reading about these teenagers who are drawn to theatre for the same reasons I am – that it’s a place that misfits can feel like they fit in somewhere.

I also loved the discussions about racism in ballet, and the juxtapositions between ballet and contemporary dance, and how they seek (or don’t) to challenge traditions. The reactions of the ballet mistress to Alina and her best friend Colleen when they called her out on racist casting where disappointingly realistic (defensiveness and anger and a rant about “tradition”).

Unfortunately, I found that the main character spent far too much of the book being self-absorbed and not recognising how much she was hurting other people. Yes, that was part of her arc, and yes, people called her out on it, but it just went on for too long. I stopped sympathising.

I did find that the process of mounting and producing the musical seemed a little unrealistic, but I was able to accept that because they plot needed to move forward somehow. I think I was possibly just not quite the right reader for this book.


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Sunday Summary – February 19, 2017

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Fun fact:
this is my 650th post on this blog. And I received my 5000th comment on Wednesday’s post. Crazy talk!

This week in writing

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I had a write-in with my writing group this morning, and finished up the week with 3703 words. I’m on the downhill run with the first draft of With Memories and Magic now, which is really exciting! At first, I hadn’t been sure that I would complete the first draft in February, which was my goal, but I am on my way to doing just that. In March, I’m going to work on a short story I have planned, then come back to edit this in April.

This week in reading

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I’m finally making headway through my ARCs! I finished both Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith this week and I’ve started The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler. So far I’m enjoying it; I think it’s going to be a really good whimsical, dreamscape-type fantasy.

This week in blogging

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I posted my review of the Mesmerist on Friday (read it here) and I have my Traitor to the Throne review scheduled for tomorrow. I’m just finishing up visiting WIPpet Wednesday posts in a few other tabs in my browser right now.

This week in health and fitness

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February has been a hard month on this front. Between the heat and just feeling crap, I’ve done less exercise than I would have hoped to, and have eaeten a lot more junk than I should have. As a result, today I’m sitting at about 200g above the weight I was at the end of January. This is after some fluctuation over the last few weeks. I’m still hopeful that I can get to my goal weight by April 1, I just need to get serious about it again.

Other Highlights this week

highlightsthumbToday a group of friends and I went to our local cinema to see the filmed production of the musical Newsies. It’s been one of my favourite musicals for a few years, but I’d only ever heard the soundtrack. It was so great to finally see how it was performed. ^_^ Here’s a bit of a glimpse of how it looked, though it doesn’t really do the full show justice.

~ Emily

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#mirthmusicmon – Jellicles can and Jellicles do – #mondayblogs

When I turned nine, I was given Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats on video for my birthday. Up until then, the only song I had known from the show was Mr Mistofolees, but I wasted no time learning the rest. I still adore the music from it. Last Saturday, I went to see a high-school production of the show, and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out, this is a school where dance classes can be taken as a subject, and so it was actually far better than I was expecting. Thus, I’ve had the album on ever since. Here’s a few of my favourite numbers for you to enjoy!

You can join in on MMM here. Happy Monday! Have a great week!

#MirthMusicMon – Oooooooooooooooooooooklahoma! #mondayblogs

So, um… I’m hoping this post turns out all right. I actually have no audio on my laptop right now (I don’t know why; I watched some stuff on YouTube with headphones in, then when I took them out, it refused to play sound at all). But I was determined for this to be the week I get my life back on track and stop moping about and being sad that My Fair Lady was over. Getting back into blogging and writing is a part of that. Last Friday was only the second alternate Friday in 18 months when I didn’t post a book review. And I’ve got a bunch of things I have read that I should have reviews written for. Anyway, in light of all that, I’m going to hope that good visual for the videos means good audio as well and post some Mirth and Music today anyway.

While My Fair Lady was on, I had a half-hour drive home from the theatre every night. It was usually around 11:20 by the time the show finished, so getting on for 11:35 or so by the time I got out of costume and make-up and actually made my way to the car. I was always pretty tired, and my solution for having to drive when tired is to blare show tunes and sing along with them. I was on a Rogers and Hammerstein kick for most of this time, so Oklahoma got a pretty good run. This then led to purchasing the Hugh Jackman version on DVD. I adored this when I was a kid (it was the first thing I ever saw HJ in) but I hadn’t watched it in years and years. It lived up to the nostalgia. So here are a couple of clips. Enjoy!

We have a MMM linky over here if you want to join in. I’m going to go and maybe write a book review!

~ Emily

#MirthMusicMon – NANOWRIMO IS DONE!

I think most people in the blogging sphere are at least aware of NaNoWriMo, whether or not they participate. In case you’re not, it’s an online writing challenge in which participants aim to write 50000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. This year, I had a fair few other commitments during November as well as NaNo, so it was pretty stressful. And while I haven’t been able to persuade myself to take a break from writing (see my previous post), it is a relief not having that target to reach each day. Here’s a song about the experience for your viewing pleasure. It’s a scarily accurate description.

Another thing that’s been driving me crazy the last week or so was preparation for an audition I had yesterday for chorus in a local production of My Fair Lady. It was my first audition for a musical in two years, so I wanted to get it right. I went for chorus, which meant I had to learn the Ascot Gavotte (for the ‘posh’ accent) and Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? for the Cockney one. I think the whole thing went pretty well, and we will find out by the end of this week whether or not we got in. Keep your fingers crossed for me. In the meantime, here’s a performance of the Ascot Gavotte.

Click here for more Mirth and Music Monday! 😀

#MirthMusicMon – With One Look

I’ve been rather terrible at showing up to Mirth and Music Monday the last few weeks, but look, I am actually back this week! In fact, I’m so keen, I’m writing this on Sunday night. I went to see a local production of Sunset Boulevard and it reminded me how much I adore Andrew Lloyd Webber’s schmaltzy musicals. So of course, I’m going to foist it on you lovely people today. This song, With One Look, is performed by Norma Desmond, a silent movie star who by the 1950s is mostly forgotten. She’s never stopped believing that she will one day return to the silver screen. Glenn Close played Norma and Broadway and won a Tony Award for it. There is a bit of scene work before the actual song, which starts at 2:40 if you want to skip ahead.

Since Sunset Boulevard is a story about Hollywood, it only made sense to find something quintessentially Hollywood for the mirth part of my post today. For some reason, despite being 10 years old, this clip has always stuck in my head. We were trying to find a particular Steve Martin opening monologue, but none of the YouTube clips had the specific bit, so this one will do instead. This is Jack Black and Will Ferrell informing the 2004 Oscars audience of the lyrics to the music the orchestra plays when a person’s speech goes on too long. My favourite part is the shot of Sean Connery.

To join in Mirth and Music Monday, post some things and link up with us here. I’m going to head off now because I am yet to watch the new episode of Doctor Who, so I’ll catch you on Wednesday! 🙂

#MirthMusicMon – Watch What Happens!

I don’t watch reality TV shows, but every now and then I hear about a particular act and I go and look it up on YouTube. This was one such act. They are Collabro and apparently they won the latest season of Britain’s Got Talent with this performance, though this clip is from their first performance. Listen to those harmonies! (Also, I love how the judges’ expressions go from “Oh, great, boy band, together a month, this is going to be dismal” to “Oh… I am suitably impressed.”)

For some mirth, here is a song from my new favourite musical, Newsies, in which the gentlemen of the cast lip-sync to “Watch What Happens”, their leading lady’s solo. I have in the past week managed to nearly master the lyrics to this myself, and I’m determined to add it to my repertoire. (Incidentally, that bit about “An hour before curtain” is pure lies. Audiences are around by an hour before curtain, and casts are in costume and sequestered in their dressing rooms warming up, not sitting on the merch stand! That said, this is pretty much musical theatre people in a nutshell 😉

I’m going to go now because I have apple and rhubarb pie that needs to come out of the oven soon, and I should probably also go do some more of the online component of my first aid training (woo, work is paying for me to learn how to save people!). If you would like to join in on MMM, just post some fun videos on your blog and link up with us here. Thanks to Regi for hosting. 🙂

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#MirthMusicMon – Tony Awards Edition

So I was freaking out because it’s been a long weekend here, so I’ve been home all day, but it’s now 6:20 and I hadn’t figured out what I was going to post today. But then I started seeing headlines about how everyone was a bit weirded out by Hugh Jackman’s opening number at the Tony Awards (which happened Monday morning, Aussie time) and then I knew what I would post. (Hugh’s opening was weird, but these ones make up for it).

From the 2011 Tonys.


Related to this video: when I did Chicago, we all said that given the number of scantily-clad women often to be found in musical theatre, why aren’t there more straight guys? (Having said that, I do know quite a number of straight guys who do theatre. The song is right.)

Who knew Daniel Radcliffe could sing and dance, right?

And this is the video where Neil Patrick Harris proves to those of us who can’t actually go see this show on Broadway, why he is totally deserving of this year’s Best Lead Actor in a Musical award for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Itch.

I could go on, but that will do for one post. To join in on Mirth and Music Monday, simply post some music and some mirth, and then join us on the linky. I’ll have more music next Monday! 😀

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P.S. Okay, I said I’d stop, but then Edy told me about Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number for the 2010 Oscars. So you should watch that, too.

MMM – This Side of the Sky

Aghh, technology is against me today, so I’m going to have to ask you to indulge me and make a little more effort than you normally would on one of these posts. For some reason, my laptop and my Internet connection have decided not to speak to one another, so I’m typing this on on my tablet.  Problem is, I can’t figure out where to find the embed code on either the mobile version of YouTube or the app,  so I’m just going to link to the video I wanted to share today and you’ll have to do the rest.

For the musical part of the post, I am sharing This Side of the Sky from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, Stephen Ward. I saw this show while I was in London and while it’s probably not Lloyd Webber’s best, the music is still enjoyable and this was one of the songs that stood out for me. Anyone squicked by the age gap can be assured that despite the song, the relationship between these two characters is more father-daughter than romantic/sexual.  A messed up father-daughter relationship,  but one nonetheless.

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Alex Hanson as Stephen Ward and Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler.

And in the interests of not having to deal with any more YouTube on the tablet, I thought this might work for the mirth part of the post. I think many readers of this blog can probably relate.

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Mirth and Music Monday was started up by Regi McClain and if you would like to join in, you can find the blog hop linky on her blog. I’m going to leave it there for now because I have to go do things like cook dinner and call my landlords regarding signing a new lease. Ergh. Catch you all later!

#MirthMusicMon – Sisterly Love and the Diary of a Sad Cat

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This is a quick post today, since despite having a long weekend, I’m completely exhausted. On the music side of MMM, I have a song called “She’s My Sister” from the concept album for the musical “The In-Between”. I’ve just come home from dinner with my own sister, so it seemed appropriate (though I should note, having said that, that we have never lived together and therefore never had any of the issues sung about in the song).

 

The second part of my post is a tribute to our cat, Mizzy, who we lost over the weekend. You’ve probably already seen the Sad Cat Diary, but here it is again anyway.

And with that, I bid you all a fond goodnight!

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