It's YA Friday's 200th post! And I thought that if this blog were a TV show, this would be the "musical episode," so we're celebrating by sharing YA books about musical theater!
The past 200 YA Friday posts have been so much fun to write and read. I hope you have looked forward to a new post each week and, with it, discovered some new and old teen titles to check out and enjoy. To the next 100 posts!
Break a Leg!
As If on Cue by Marisa Kanter
Lifelong rivals Natalie and Reid have never been on the same team. So when their school’s art budget faces cutbacks, of course Natalie finds herself up against her nemesis once more. She’s fighting to direct the school’s first ever student-written play, but for her small production to get funding, the school’s award-winning band will have to lose it. Reid’s band. And he’s got no intention of letting the show go on.
But when their rivalry turns into an all-out prank war that goes too far, Natalie and Reid have to face the music, resulting in the worst compromise: writing and directing a musical. Together. At least if they deliver a sold-out show, the school board will reconsider next year’s band and theater budget. Everyone could win.
Except Natalie and Reid.
Because after spending their entire lives in competition, they have absolutely no idea how to be co-anything. And they certainly don’t know how to deal with the feelings that are inexplicably, weirdly, definitely developing between them…
Act Cool by Tobly McSmith
Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition.
August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends.
But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?
The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk
Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg -- and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it.
After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and bingeing ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected -- namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive cast-mate she just might be falling for.
But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet -- something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?
Can't Take That Away by Steven Salvatore
Carey Parker dreams of being a diva and bringing the house down with song. But despite their talent, emotional scars from an incident with a homophobic classmate and their grandmother's spiraling dementia make it harder and harder for Carey to find their voice.
Then Carey meets Cris, a singer/guitarist who makes Carey feel seen for the first time in their life. With the rush of a promising new romantic relationship, Carey finds the confidence to audition for the role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the school musical, setting off a chain reaction of prejudice by Carey's tormentor and others in the school. It's up to Carey, Cris, and their friends to defend their rights--and they refuse to be silenced.
Roman + Jewel by Dana L. Davis
Jerzie Jhames will do anything to land the lead role in Broadway's hottest new show, Roman and Jewel, a Romeo and Juliet-inspired hip-hopera featuring a diverse cast and modern twists on the play. But her hopes are crushed when she learns mega-star Cinny won the lead...and Jerzie is her understudy.
Falling for male lead Zeppelin Reid is a terrible idea--especially once Jerzie learns Cinny wants him for herself. Star-crossed love always ends badly. But when a video of Jerzie and Zepp practicing goes viral and the entire world weighs in on who should play Jewel, Jerzie learns that while the price of fame is high, friendship, family, and love are priceless.
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything.
What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.
Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, a rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.
Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.