“Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Short take: The hype did not deliver.
I was pretty underwhelmed by this graphic novel. Ghosts has been the only Raina Telgemeier book I have enjoyed so far and even that one was problematic (although I won’t go into that here). For me, her books have consistently been not-great. I know a big part of this could be that I am not the intended age group. However, I read a lot of middle-grade and young adult books and graphic novels, and there are a bunch that I love, sooo I’m not entirely sure that excuse is going to cut it here.
The plot of Drama felt nonexistent. We are following Callie and her fellow middle school friends as they put on a production of Moon Over Mississippi, and that’s pretty much it. Everything that seemed to attempt to be the plot, (which was mostly Callie making new friends and having crushes) felt like extra details that normally would accompany an actual plot if there was one. There wasn’t really a lot of drama if I’m being honest, unless the title was only referring to the fact that these characters are in the drama department at school, in which case the joke is on me for expecting something different. Either way, I was expecting more and I came away from this read feeling pretty meh.
I’m bumping my review up from three stars to four simply because of the diverse cast of characters. This graphic novel has been praised endlessly for its LGBTQ-friendly storyline, and it’s also very popular among young readers, and on one hand maybe that’s all that should matter. But on the other hand, there are some seriously good graphic novels out there, and this just isn’t one of them and I think that’s worth stating.