Written on Nov 1, 2019
I have been a fan of Stephanie Kate Strohm's books, since I read It's Not Me, It's You. It was love at first read. Strohm and I seem to share a similar sense of humor, and therefore, I find her hilarious. But, it's also her knack for writing delightful characters, as well as fun and engaging dialog, that keeps me coming back for me. The one thing I can depend upon, when reading a Stephanie Kate Strohm book, is a fun time filled with lots of laughter, and once again, she gifted that to me with The Taming of the Drew.
Strohm blended so many elements in such a way that was guaranteed to result in a good time for me.
The setting had this summer camp feel, but we were dealing with pre-college teens with very little supervision, and therefore, there was a lot more room for shenanigans. I especially loved all the attempts to "tame" Drew. Cass called upon the same tactics used by Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, however, she had to be more cunning, so as not to call attention to her plan. The creeping and pranking resulted in some very humorous situations.
Though this was a retelling, I also got to enjoy pieces of the source material in its original form. As Cass tried to recreate the taming, she was also part of the cast performing The Taming of the Shrew. I got to bear witness to their rehearsals and even part of their performance. But, the bard wasn't only represented by that play, as these thespians lived to quote him in almost any situation, which really sold their love and adoration of theatre to me. I also found the process the actors practiced, as they tried to connect with their characters, very interesting. Strohm's theatre background really shined during these scenes.
Aside from the show and shenanigans, I was fond of the friendship that developed between Cass, Amy, and Heidi. These three couldn't have been any more different from each other, but they shared their love of theatre, which grew into so much more.
Finally, let's talk about Drew. He was the perfect foil for Cass. This was a typical hate-at-first-sight, but Strohm did such a nice job revealing the little cracks in Cass' determination to hate him. As those small, sweet moments grew more frequent, I found myself more and more invested in this love-match. It all culminated to a really precious final scene, which stole my heart too.
For me, this was another solid book by Strohm, and now I can say, I have read them all. It was the type of lighthearted book I gravitate towards, which not only incorporated a classic in an entertaining way, but also showcased a love for theatre, and did a nice job pulling me into that world.
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