On the plane back to NYC from Dallas I read E. Lockhart’s latest book, Dramarama. Once I started I couldn’t stop. All Scott got out of me for the next three hours were “Yes, dears”, “uh huhs”, and “laters”. I’m a big E. Lockhart fan. I’ve enjoyed every books she’s written but Dramarama is by far her best. And that’s saying a lot.
Best book ever!
It’s about kids who are obsessed with becoming actors/dancers/singers. They’ve all been bitten with the performing bug so hard that it has eaten their brains. They meet at a performing summer camp which is the kind of intense hothouse that brings out the good, the bad and the ugly. There are spats, lots of falling in and out of love and friendship, tears, and heaps of really hard work as they put on multiple shows and learn how to be theatre professionals (or not, as the case may be).

I’ve seen some reviews of this book worry that kids who aren’t into musical theatre won’t find anything for them in Dramarama. I’m not into musical theatre—or theatre for that matter—I have zero interest in Broadway and I adored it.

The book’s protag, Sadye Paulson, is my favourite kind: She doesn’t know herself that well. Sometimes it seems like she doesn’t know herself at all or have any clue how she affects folks around her. She makes mistakes, behaves in ways that make you cringe, but manages to learn from it, and not in a Hallmark ewkie way. I can’t remember the last time I loved a protag this much while also wanting to shake her. Shake her very very hard.

What I love most about E. Lockhart’s work—and there’s a lot to love—is the importance of friendship. It’s always at the core of her books even the ones that seem to be about romance. I’ve said before that friendships are as important as romance. And that friendship has to be at the core of a romantic relationship if it’s going to last longer than ten seconds. Lockhart shows it.

Did I mention that Dramarama is also very funny? Cause it is. Complete with laugh-out-loud sections and everything.

Excuse me while I go read it again. Seriously it’s that good.


  1. maureen on #

    You are 100% right. Dramarama is her best!

  2. Little Willow on #

    I agree. Dramarama is fantastic and it’s real. It’s her best book yet.

  3. Delia on #

    Drat. Now I’m going to have to go out and buy a copy. I love theatrical novels. I suspect that the camp referenced is probably Interlochen, where my own Ellen went to camp as a teen–and decided not to become an actress because she didn’t like actors. And if Justine says it’s well-written, then it’s going to be. It’s not everyone’s word I take on such matters.

  4. Dawn on #

    Yet another book to read! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion

  5. lili on #

    oh no! it isn’t available here!

    whatever shall i do!?

    if _only_ i had a friend in the US who was coming to Melbourne next month for a conference…

  6. jenny davidson on #

    mmm, i’m amazoning it immediately… i have been meaning to read e. lockhart’s books for some time, her blog’s so smart and the books sound great! this one especially…

  7. Eric Luper on #

    I agree. I just finished DRAMARAMA yesterday. Just stunning.


  8. Craig on #

    i’m really looking forward to seeing E. Lockhart this weekend in NYC – is anyone else planning on attending?

  9. Ally on #

    oh my goodness justine!! i asked my english teacher today if she had any e. lockhart, maureen johnson, or justine larbalestier books and you know what she said?? she said she had never heard of the authors!! i thought was pretty sad that an english teacher doesn’t know who yall are!!

  10. Justine on #

    Ally: Shocking! Did you ask her which Young Adult authors she likes? In her defense there are lots and lots of us.

  11. Ally on #

    no but i think she likes more of the science fictiony kinds of books..so thats a good reason i guess

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