Jack & Louisa: Act 1 by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead

Synopsis from GoodreadsA show-stopping series about life in the spotlight from Broadway actors and internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead. Twelve-year-old Jack Goodrich was a Broadway star—until a sudden voice change cost him his dream role. Now he lives with his parents in Shaker Heights, Ohio trying hard to leave his acting past behind. But his new neighbor, Louisa—a self-proclaimed “musical theater nerd”—won’t stop until Jack auditions for a local production of Into the Woods.

Feelings: I bought this book for my classroom because I have a student who loves musicals, but doesn’t love reading. He was about halfway through it when I realized he was reading faster than I’d ever seen, so I immediately ordered the next 2 books in the series for him. He loved this book so much. He was able to finally find characters in a book that mirrored him. He encouraged me to read it as well, so I did and found it to be a really fun read. If you love musicals, this book is right up your alley.

Issues: At the end of the book, Jack is presented with an option. (No spoilers) But…why wasn’t this option made available to him sooner? This just didn’t make sense to me. If it really was a possible alternative, it would have been made known sooner…realistically.

Characters: I loved how different Jack and Louisa are. Sure, they’re both Musical Theater Nerds, but they both represent different types of theater fans. They love a lot of the same shows, but have different experiences that shape them. This makes sure the book doesn’t get boring or repetitive, even with all the theatre references, which I appreciate. If you aren’t a musical fan, the characters still have some depth to them. You don’t have to know musical theatre to understand these people, they’re very real. Their parents are good characters, too. We don’t always get strong parent and family relationships, so that was refreshing in this story. The parents are very supportive of their children’s interests and encourage them along the way.

Final thoughts: If you’re an MTN like me, you’ll really enjoy this book. There are so many references to various shows and places on Broadway that it makes for a fun ride. This is also a great read for parents of musical theatre nerds. You’ll get a little insight into their minds!

Pick this up if you liked:

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Goodreads rating: 4.17/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.8/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

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