Review Blog

Nov 14 2011

Dress Rehearsal by Zoe Thurner

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Fremantle Press, 2011. ISBN 9781921696671.
(Age 15 +) Recommended. The story of Lara Pearlman and her friends as they prepare to stage their school play reveals strained relationships within families and with friendships. Year 12 student Lara is a free spirit which often puts her at odds with her controlling mother. She imagines herself in love with the school 'Mc Dreamy', Blake, and has complicated relationships with Oggy, her best friend, and Nathan, who is her chief supporter. Lara needs to work out how to challenge the rules but remain safe, and how to act when presented with very real and complex challenges to her values.
While Lara's descriptions of her life are often funny, sudden twists in the story line take the reader into darker territory in the latter part of the book as actions taken have negative consequences for many of the characters. There is a certain level of complexity that may cause confusion for some readers, but those who persevere will remember the character of Lara with fondness.
Zoe Thurner, a first time author, is a high school drama teacher and the descriptions of drama rehearsals and school life are entertaining and believable.
Chris Lloyd

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