Review by Amber Elias, 15
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre By Robin
When it comes to the beautifully chaotic world of theatre, it’s easy to forget about the people making magic happen behind the stage. More times than not, members of the stage crew are just as passionate about drama as actors, and this is very apparent in the case of high school junior stage manager, Melody McIntyre. Melody lived and breathed theatre since she was a toddler with the help of her two very drama-centered dads. As a teenager, her pride and joy were the numerous plays and musicals she teched at Beaconville High School, a school known for its highly prestigious art departments. However, Beaconville has a nasty reputation for the curse that had burned the auditorium back in the early 1900s, and it has haunted the theatre nerds of the high school ever since. To combat this curse, each show’s crew sets up a superstition that is to be strictly followed in order to ensure the safety and success of the cast, crew, and performance, and it just so happens that this year’s superstition landed directly on the shoulders of Ms. McIntyre who is known for her notoriously messy relationships (and breakups). In order for the high school’s production of Les Misérables to run as smoothly as possible, Melody McIntyre must not fall in love, which should be easy after a particularly bad breakup, right? Apparently not, since Beaconville’s superstar actress Odile Rose comes back to town from a movie shoot in Iceland and turns Melody’s calm, organized, and curse-free world completely upside down.
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre is a wonderful YA read all about theatre, romance, and the hardships of the 21st-century teenager. Not only does this book have a gripping plot, wonderfully detailed scenes of theatre life, and an immensely engaging format, the diversity among the characters is astounding. This novel is a huge win for the LGBTQIA+ community as most of the characters are openly queer in some way. What’s even better is that, as some novels are guilty of, sexuality isn’t the main focus or issue that the characters face, which is incredibly refreshing. My only critique for the story is that the romance between Odile and Melody seemed slightly rushed in the middle, but this can be the author’s way of showing how fleeting and full of emotion young love is. Despite this, I would have liked to see some more development in their relationship, as well as some more cute couple scenes. Overall, if you’re looking for a romance comedy YA novel about theatre and drama with incredibly diverse characters and a beautifully crafted and concise (but never lacking details) plot, The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre is for you.
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