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Monday, 22 July 2013

Olivia's Curtain Cal by Lyn Gardner

Olivia's Curtain Call - Olivia 7

Olivia and her friends are auditioning for a production of Romeo and Juliet in the West End. It makes Olivia realise just how much she wants to be an actress, like her mum was. But her father asks her to perform with him in a high-wire stunt instead. How can she choose between her parents? And love is in the air at the Swan School of Theatre and Dance. But when the curtain falls, will everyone get their fairytale happy ending?

This is the seventh and final book in the popular series which follows Olivia and her younger sister, Eel, through their daily life at The Swan Academy of Theatre and Dance. 

Olivia's mother was the youngest actor to play Juliet on stage and now Olivia has the opportunity to do the same, however she must audition against many older, more well known and experienced actresses, to win the part. Her father, Jack, wants her to perform alongside him and her school mate, Tom, on a high wire show and her gran supports her in her quest to play Juliet. Which will Olivia choose? There are obstacles along the way, leaving Olivia to make difficult decisions, should she be ruled by head or heart, and when Eel is involved in a serious accident what will the future hold?

This, again, is a fantastic book. A stage school based story which shows the real life of such a school. This story concentrates much more more on the audition process and the life of an actor than on school life. There is also more in this book about the love life of some members of the school and some follow in the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet; families at war, forbidden love all play a part.

The story features some of the most famous Romeo and Juliet text from the stage play which adds to the story - I really liked this and I am sure it will encourage younger readers to either read the full text or watch a performance of it. 

I was sad to read that this is the final installment in this Swan Academy series, however Lyn Gardner has finished on a high. The book is a great story, which could be read as a standalone story but for fans of the series, it is a great ending to Olivia's story, where she has the opportunity for new heights in her blossoming career but also has a love story which I think readers have hopefully waited for since the start. 

I would recommend this book as great for readers aged 9+. It will be a great pick for readers who enjoy anything stage and screen - budding actors, singers, dancers, but also for anyone who wants to read a great read this summer.

I have spoken to the author, Lyn Gardner, who has promised me she is working on a new book and will be back soon with another great read!
Thank you to the publishers, Nosy Crow, for sending me the book to review.

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