I occasionally watch television shows like America’s Got Talent or American Idol (I am a horrible Canadian, I know) and I sometimes wonder what it is like to be the person performing in front of millions of people, or just to audition and know that this is one of the biggest opportunities you may ever get so if you mess up, your failure could be broadcasted on national television. Ouch. In Big Time, Gerri audtions for a reality show called, well, Big Time. I loved the peek into the world of an auditioner and how unfair they could make it.
Speaking of Gerri, she is a pretty awesome character. Her character growth from the start to finish (only 118 pages!) is extraordinary. She starts off very confident in her abilities but when she gets shot down by a judge at Big Time, she decides she doesn’t want to sing again. Enter the choral club. Although the story is pretty predictable and there aren’t any big character twists (which would have been great), the other characters are realistic; not everyone gets along.
I also enjoyed the family dynamics. Too many YA and upper MG books don’t give enough page time to the family of the protagonist, which kind of makes me sad. Family is a big part of my life, after all!
Like all of the Orca Limelights novels I have read so far, there is romance in this novel. The love interest, Keith, is also a musican, but more of an all-over-the-place guy. He posts covers on Youtube for his large following, is in a rock band but auditioned for Big Time with a country song and, of course, he does choral club with Gerri. He and Gerri were quite cute together. Unfortunately, there isn’t much page time with Keith, although I wish there was!
Overall, I would recommend this book, due to its stellar characters and unique concept. Performing arts novels are quite rare after all! I have another Tom Ryan book on my TBR pile so if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go read…