Author: Maggie Harcourt
Publication Date: 28th June 2018
About the book:
Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool… and her secret.
Gorgeously fresh, funny and commercial YA romance from the author of Unconventional, and The Last Summer of Us.
What I Thought:
I’ve sat down to write this review just as soon as I finished the book and currently I’m not sure anything I can say can really get across just how much I enjoyed this story.
Hope Parker just loves the theatre and wants nothing more than to make a career out of being a stage manager. There’s just one little problem, she’s the daughter of renowned costume designer Miriam Parker and she doesn’t want people thinking her mother has paved her way, she wants to do it on her own. Which is why when she interviews for an internship at the Earl’s Theatre she keeps it quiet but finds herself with the post anyway. Theatrical follows Hope from rehearsals through to opening night.
What do I love about this book? Everything! The plot, the structure, the characters… The book takes it’s structure cues from the theatre and is split into five acts with each chapter a scene within it. The structure makes it so clear where we are at each stage of the production from her initial interview, through time spent in the rehearsal space, the move into the theatre, tech rehearsals and finally opening night. The plot moves relatively quickly but at the same time still gives the reader time to connect to the characters, especially Hope. It meant by the time we reached the end I was so invested in the outcome and really wanted everything to work out for Hope – both personally and professionally! I also have to say I loved the call back to Unconventional. You don’t have to have read that book to enjoy Theatrical but I loved the connection through Piecekeepers. I maintain if that book is ever actually written I’m reading it!
Hope is such a wonderful central character and I really connected with her. I completely understand being associated with a parent, not on a professional level, but I look so like my dad so many people in my hometown know me as Rick’s daughter. I liked that she felt realistic, she’s not perfect, she’s late, she makes mistakes but at the same time she’s a really likable character. She’s certainly a character I wouldn’t mind catching up with in another book. I’d love to find out if she becomes the professional stage manager she wants to be.
Luke is a character I would love to find out more about. He has a bit of a tragic backstory but his slightly introverted personality really appealed to me. Tommy Knight is the Hollywood A Lister who comes across as a little arrogant but gradually a little more is revealed and I enjoyed discovering there was a little more to him. I also really enjoyed reading about Rick, Amy and George. We see a little of Hope’s family, getting a little history about how her mum became successful. I would love to get some more history about Hope’s relationship with her sister as it seems Faith enjoys making life difficult for her sister and I don’t understand quite why. I don’t have a sister but to me it seemed more than standard sister stuff, but hey I only have a brother so I could be completely wrong!
I absolutely ADORED Theatrical. I have absolutely no idea why it took me so long to pick up but it was just the most perfect Boxing Day read for me! I’m now even more excited for Maggie’s 2020 release.
About The Author
Maggie Harcourt was born and raised in Wales, where she grew up dreaming of summer road trips and telling stories for a living. As well as studying Medieval Literature at UCL, Maggie has variously worked as a PA, a hotel chambermaid and for a French chef before realising her dreams and beginning to write full time.
She now lives just outside Bath, UK, where she can usually be found in a bookshop or somewhere near the river. She guards the secret of her favourite coffee shop jealously, because she has the perfect spot picked out there for people-watching.
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As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?