But I’m Eponine by Christine Dzidrums

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High school can be rough for anyone, but it is especially challenging for Lyric. After growing up way too quickly as she cared for her younger brother and a mother who ran the gambit of emotions, her world was ripped away. Her mother died, leaving her and her brother to be taken in by her Aunt and Uncle. Lyric is not sure of her place in the family or the world. The Aunt and Uncle, having no children of their own are also dealing with the new family dynamics. Add in that the younger brother seems perfectly happy and Lyric’s life is in a bit of turmoil.

The story centers around Lyric as she tries out for and obtains a role in her high school play of Les Miserables. No worries if you are not familiar with the play, as the author starts many chapters with a snippet of the story to keep you in tune with the actors and their roles. Lyric is surrounded by two close friends as she tries to figure out the social interactions of the other characters portrayed with authentic high school drama.

I was slightly worried about the length of this novel as it comes in at over 400 pages on a kindle, but the speed of this read easily makes that less daunting. With chapters that are text conversations and dialogue presented in script format, the reader can quickly keep up with the story and the emotions of the characters.

While the characters are all high school age, I think this book would be appropriate for middle school through New Adult readers (and beyond).

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SUMMARY

Cinderella. Evita. Millie. Glinda. Elle.

Fifteen-year-old Lyric Teague sings like an angel and has already played all the great musical theater roles—in the privacy of her bedroom. Haunted by her mother’s death, she is too timid and insecure to chase her dreams or form any friendships.

After Alto High School announces a fall production of Les Misérables, the shy teenager finally steps into the spotlight and auditions for the role of the neglected, impoverished Eponine. After all, she’s perfect for the part, having felt unwanted and unseen her whole life.

When others hear Lyric’s lovely voice, their reactions confuse her. Les Misérables’ director sees her as a pretty ingenue. Her longtime crush, Nick Bowman, starts flirting with her, and the enigmatic Cai Shipley delights in pushing her buttons. She must also contend with castmates who resent a newbie like her for landing a lead role.

Lyric is suddenly receiving a lot of attention for a girl who’s always felt invisible. With opening night approaching, she wonders how anyone can see her as the beautiful, desirable Cosette when she feels like the plain, unwanted Eponine.
But I’m Eponine marks the first book in the Altoverse series.

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