Callie is so excited to be the set designer for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi. But now she’s having trouble getting the cannon to fire and, even worse, it seems like half the cast is involved in drama over dating. Can the show go on?
I enjoyed Drama mainly for its quirky protagonist and its lovable cast of characters. The drama of Drama, however? Not so much. Raina Telgemeir crams in so many crossed loves that the book feels more like a soap opera than the story of a seventh grader’s involvement in school theatre. In some cases, less really is more.
YA has become somewhat infamous for love triangles, but here we have what seems to be a love pentagon. Maybe even a hexagon. It’s hard to keep track of who likes whom because none of them apparently know what their feelings are, either. The kids are all kissing and dating each other in what almost seemed to be some sort of incestuous muddle as half the characters seem to be semi-involved with each other throughout the course of the book. But isn’t it normally a bit of a taboo to kiss someone right after they’ve broken up with someone else, or to start dating someone the week after a break-up? Isn’t there usually some sort of unspoken rule about that? I kept waiting for a character to get upset about their previous girlfriend moving on so fast, or finding out that they were a rebound, but generally no one cared.
Aside from the weird romantic dynamics, however, the story is engaging. I loved seeing someone write about the people who usually stay behind the scenes during a show. Their enthusiasm for tech and theatre is contagious, and the characters themselves are quite endearing. I wanted to join Callie’s circle of friends because they always seem like they’re having a good time. It’s a shame the plot didn’t quite live up to the characters.