“Life is like a musical: it’s here one moment and gone the next.” // Review of Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle

Title: Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star
Author: Tim Federle
Genre: Non-fiction/memoir/self-help
Date Read: 28/09/2017 – 29/09/2017
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Tim Federle is my people. If we’d been at school together, we would have been friends because then we would have each had someone to geek out with about musicals when no one else cared. While the advice in this book might be somewhat generic, I really enjoyed the theatre anecdotes that he used to back up his claims, a lot of the time because I could relate, having had a similar experience somewhere in my amateur theatre experiences.

This book is full of lessons Tim learned during his time on Broadway as a dancer, as well as later, writing theatrical material and novels. You can see some of them on the cover: “Let someone else take a bow”, “take the note” (i.e. accept constructive feedback without getting defensive”) and “Dance like everyone’s watching”. He applies these lessons to wider life, careers and relationships.

I really enjoyed some of the anecdotes about being backstage at a theatre. I’ve never performed on Broadway, just at a couple of local theatres in the towns where I’ve lived, but the experiences are much the same. I laughed out loud a lot. I also enjoyed the stories about the big names the Tim worked with on Broadway.

This book probably isn’t for everyone, and I think it probably will particularly appeal to those like me who have a theatre background (even if it’s not a very extensive one). But I laughed out loud several times and related to Tim’s stories so often, so I definitely recommend checking it out.


Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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#WWW Wednesday – July 19, 2017

Hello everyone! I’m wondering if you could do me a favour? Next year I’m going to be trekking through the Himalayas to raise money for the UN Women National Committee and their work in Nepal assisting women and girls who were displaced after the 2015 earthquake. I’m only $40 away from my first milestone of $1000 raised. Could you donate and help me reach that first target? Any amount would be very much appreciated!

I also have a Facebook page set up where you can see updates of my preparation and fundraising journey. I’d love to see you there!

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been a bit of a slow reading week this week. I’ve finished one print book and one audio. The print book was The Year of Freaking Out by Sarah Walker. It was sweet but a bit dated. I reviewed it here.

I also finished The Art of Purring by David Michie. This is the second book in the series The Dalai Lama’s Cat which teaches Buddhist methods of mindfulness and paths to happiness through the perspective of HHC, His Holiness’ Cat. It was cute but not quite as good as the first one, I thought. Though this could be because David Michie was also the narrator and he wasn’t as good a narrator/performer as he is a writer.

What are you currently reading?

 My main read at the moment is 1984 by George Orwell. This is a re-read for me; I’m going to see the critically-acclaimed stage show next week and I wanted to refresh my memory.

am still reading  Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, though there has been little movevment on any of them recently.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I really should get back to the two books I just said I’ve had little movement on, but I’m really tempted to start some of my ARCs. Particularly Daughter of the  Burning City by Amanda Foody, which looks awesome! Check out that cover.  (Actually, my ARC has a way less pretty cover, but I’m  just ignoring that).

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#AWW2017 Book Review: “The Year of Freaking Out” by Sarah Walker

Title: The Year of Freaking Out
Author: Sarah Walker
Genre: YA Contemporary
Date Read: 12/07/2017 – 14/07/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

Part of my challenge-within-a-challenge for the 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge was to read at least two books by LGBTI* authors. This is my first one. 

Kim knows deep down that she is attracted to girls, and it’s only confirmed when she meets Rachel, who has recently transferred to her school. She doesn’t know how to confess any of this to her friends, though, and liking girls isn’t even the worst of the secrets she keeps from them…

I don’t normally enjoy first person narration, but Kim’s voice was very genuine so in this case it worked. I really enjoyed her friendship group as well. They honestly all sounded like individuals, and like teenagers, a tricky feat to manage. There’s the messiness of relationships, fights with parents, the general trying-to-figure-out-your-place-in-the-world struggles.

Along with sexual identity themes, the book also examines sexual assault and the impact that has on young people. It did feel a little at odds with the lighter tone of the narration of the book and most of its other events. However, I felt that it was handled well, especially the revelation that leads to Kim opening up about her own experiences towards the end of the book.

And now, since I have your attention, a rant about how non-heterosexual content is marketed in books. The back of this one describes Kim having to make the biggest decision of her life, between her “passionate friendship” with Rachel and her “feelings for her friend, Matthew”. That’s not the choice at all! I know this book is twenty years old, but Rachel is the one she has feelings for; she tries to convince herself she has feelings for Matthew, but she knows that it’s just an attempt to make herself “normal”. But we couldn’t have that on the back cover of a book! Someone think of the children! Or something.

I wouldn’t say this book had a profound impact on me, but I can totally understand the reviews that say they wish they had had this book when they were trying to figure out their own identities like Kim. It was a sweet, fun read though; definitely recommended if you enjoy coming-of-age YA stories.


This review forms part of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge for 2017. Click here for more information.

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#WWW Wednesday – July 12, 2017

t’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last WWW post, and in that time, I’ve finished several books.

I finished listening to The Prestige by Christopher Priest. It was really hard to not compare it to the movie, which I think tells the same story in a much tighter way. I posted my review here on Monday.

I then began July by returning to Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. I read The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival and The Slippery Slope (books 6-10) in quick succession. I thought for a while that The Vile Village was the last one I had read as a child, but I definitely read this far. I have a memory of Sunny cooking with wasabi, which I haven’t come across yet, so I guess I read far more of the series back in the day than I thought.

Other reviews posted since my last WWW post are The Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French and Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.

What are you currently reading?

am still reading  Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, though there has been little movevment on any of them recently. I only finished the 10th ASOUE book this afternoon, so I will probably return to one of these tomorrow. I need a break from Snicket before I finish the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got The Year of Freaking Out by Sarah Walker out from the library today. I think this is a YA Contempory, and I’ve got it on my TBR for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I also posted my July – September TBR, which you can read here. It’s a mix of ARCs and challenge books. e

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.