Acting by Sherri Winston 2004
IQ "Eve desperately searched her mind for a character, any character, she could play, whose lines were already written and spoken and tested, because she had no words of her own." pg. 22
Eve feels unappreciated by her mother and twin sister, Al (their mother named them both Eve with different middle names; Eve Alexandra and Eve Belinda). Eve is always trying to be a "good girl" to please her mother, but her mother just wants Eve to be more like her twin. The only time Eve feels truly special is when she's on the stage and she spends all her time acting and playing in the make believe. Eve soon feels that she is shedding her "good girl" image when she begins to fall for a "bad boy" (named Luscious). "Acting gives us a backstage view of one of life's most brutal auditions-the audition for true identity and sexual awareness, the discover of what it takes to be yourself" (inside flap)
This book had an air of ridiculousness to it and unlike in other books where that's charming, in Acting I just found it annoying. First off, the names. Who names both their daughters the same thing?! I mean really. Also, Luscious? That was his actual name. I almost gagged. Also, the characters were unappealing. Eve was annoying and whiny. She seemed to be completely clueless as to what was going on in her family and she constantly jumped to conclusions. Luscious was so far from actually being 'luscious'. He was ok, he had cute moments, but for the most part I felt that the author used the fact that he's an artist as a crutch (if that makes sense). What I mean is, the only attractive part of him seemed to be his artistic talent (and I suppose his 'hot bod') and the author relied on that only (I suppose her point could have been to make him undesirable but I wanted to learn more about him, why was he bad?). I didn't understand Al's mood swings either; sometimes she would be totally sweet to Eve and other times she would be totally vindictive. Eve's mother was just awful and I don't feel that she grew at all. She was bitter and I was skeptical as to her claims of why she acted that way. The only person in Eve's family I always liked was her Aunt Mary, who was sweet and no-nonsense (Eve's father is in the picture, but he was passive). Finally, it's supposed to be a big mystery as to who the father of Al's baby is (she won't tell), but I had it figured out within the first few chapters.
This book's main redeeming factor was that it talks about an issue that is not often addressed in YA literature; that of a girl wanting sex. It's rare to read about a girl who actually wants to have sex (because we have to be "good and pure" *rolls eyes*) and this part of the story was well done. Eve's struggle is the only thing that made her sympathetic but at the same time I wanted her to just own up to it (or at least stop with her "holier than thou" act). I also enjoyed reading about the production of The Crucible put on by Eve's school. Eve had an interesting take on the role of Abigail Williams and it gave me pause (in a good way).
Acting was a novel that had great promise, but it didn't really deliver. I do think the message of having girls comfortable in their sexuality is an important one to tell and I liked that this book was even trying to tackle that subject. The book is at its best when it focuses on sexual awareness and theater. The scenes involving acting and plays were enjoyable. However, the characters were never fully developed, intentions were never fully realized and I finished this book without caring to read it again.
Disclosure: From the library.