Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY
Source: Copy courtesy of Usborne (out now)

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.

From a very young age, I've always been mesmerised with theatre, so when Stevie approached me and told me Maggie Harcourt was writing a YA book based in a theatre, I knew I just had to read it.

The story follows a teenage girl called Hope who's dream it is to work backstage at a theatre. When she's offered an internship doing just that, at one of the most prestigious theatres, Hope can hardly believe her luck. There's just one small problem: Hope can tell no one. It's not that doesn't want to; she just feels like she can't. Her mum is a famous costume-designer...and is slightly disapproving of Hope's choices to say the least. Hope wants to feel like she's achieved her goal without using her mum's fame to her advantage; and that is why she wants to do this on her own.

After Hope lands the internship at the Earl's Theatre, her web of lies and secrets grows substantially. And she suddenly feels out of her comfort zone, and wonders if she's good enough for the job at all. This is only magnified when she discovers that some very famous people are working on this adaptation of Piecekeepers...

And then she meets Luke. And if she thought she was in over her head before, she's definitely struggling to keep her head afloat now...

I absolutely adored Hope. She was a really likeable main character; and ones that you're left rooting for are my favourite. I think I identified with Hope so much because she reminded me of myself. When she cried, I cried. When she laughed, I laughed. When she succedded, I wooped with joy. And aren't books like that just magical?

Talking of magical, this book left me with an even deeper love of theatre than when I first went in with. Finding out so much more about how a production is brought to life; the struggles it faces; the time and effort it takes; the work that's put in - it has given me a new found respect for theatre.

I have always found something magical about theatre. Even from the age of 4. I don't remember my mum taking me to see Grease at the West End, but apparently the entire train carriage remembers 4 year old me reenacting, "keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers" for them.

I had fallen in love with theatre from that tender age, and have been in love since. I've been lucky enough to see many shows at the West End and on Broadway, so when Stevie asked if we could share our favourite theatre experiences - I was stumped. How can a theatre-goer just choose one? They're my babies. Was it when I watched The Woman in Black and a ghostly figure touched my arm? (True story!) Was it when I watched Legally Blonde and turned into Elle Woods for 2 hours? Was it when I watched Sweeney Todd and swang my razor high with Benjamin Barker and Mrs Lovett? Was it when I flew a kite with Mary Poppins and co? Was it when I clicked my heels and murmured, "there's no place like home" to return home from Oz? Was it when I fist-pumped with rage and passion at Made in Dagenham?

Two memories sprung to mind when I thought about theatre:
  • Visiting The Globe for the first time.
  • Seeing Wicked for the first time.

I hated Shakespeare pre-GCSEs. I couldn't understand the language. I refused to understand it. And then my godmum took me to The Globe. Standing tickets are only £5 in The Globe, and it's the most beautiful theatre I've ever seen. I touched the stage, I took in the scene, and then The Tempest started. I understood every word. Why had I deprived myself of Shakespeare for so many years? This man was a genius - needless to say I aced my Othello essay the year after.

And Wicked. Nothing could have prepared me for Wicked at the Apollo Theatre. My godmum had forked out a lot of money for us to have the best seats in the house. The opening number started and I cried. I cried, and cried, and cried. How could something this magical exist? After that performance of Wicked, I've cried at every curtain rise (and fall), at any theatre since.

Theatres are much like books to me. I go to escape. To get lost. To be someone else for a few hours. Next week, I'm going to be Veronica Sawyer for a few hours (how very!)...Bring on Heathers. I'm going on my own. Front row. Centre stage. And seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher. I couldn't be more excited if I tried.

If you love theatre, and you love reading, this is most certainly the book for you.

Check out the other stops on the Theatrical blog tour here:


  1. Sounds like you've had some fab times at the theatre :)
    Gotta say, my love of Shakespeare didn't develop until after GCSEs as we had to study Romeo and Juliet and I hated every second. Roll on A Levels, The Taming of the Shrew, and a timely RSC tour up north and that was me.
    Cora |

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