This is the first book by Serena Chase that I have been lucky enough to read. First of all, I want to warn you that I can’t stay impartial toward this book. As a person who spent 5 years in a theater school along with working at different theaters and 8 years studying opera and musical singing I believe I love the topic of the book too much.
Intermission tells a story of a young girl, Faith, who is a sophomore at school and is soon to apply for college. Since she was a little girl she wanted to sing and be an actress but her parents had a completely different view on her future. Who knows how her life would go if she hadn’t met Noah. He has same dreams as she does; they have so much in common that finally Faith gets more confident about pursuing her dreams. The only problem is that Noah is older than Faith, and her mother rejects him without further objections.
I think this book has everything to appeal to those who have some misunderstanding with their parents or who luck confidence in following their passion. As a person who went to work in the theater after school I can relate to that feeling—when no one supported me in my choice, and my parents and close friends were just certain that I was wasting my time and didn’t want to grow up.
A theater school.” Dad makes a face as if he’s just smelled rotten garbage. “Well, that’s practical.
The best parts of the book to me were the chapters where Faith and Noah were rehearsing at the theater or singing together. Sometimes I thought to myself that it reminded me of the TV-show Glee. So if you like the TV show you can check out this book. If you are a big fun of Broadway, you’ll be happy to find a lot of your favorite songs there. They are as big a part of the book as the story and I would say they are the orchestration for this book.
Amazing Grace!… This isn’t just a song. Not to them. When they talk about grace leading them home, they know journey’s not that far away.
Christmas has always seemed like an ending point to me, probably due to its positioning on the calendar. But tonight, in the words of that song and the faces of those so close to realizing eternity, I recognize my error. Christmas is not the end at all, but the beginning of something beautiful and sacred.
Without a doubt “Intermission” is a religious novel and faith plays a big part in the lives of the main characters and determines a lot of their choices and actions. Even the name of the main character is Faith, which I guess has a triple meaning—her faith in God and her faith in herself and her love. I would not call myself religious so sometimes the actions of main characters were surprising to me. Also I felt like many dialogues between the main characters about God and their prayers could be reduced. Sometimes I had an impression that they were in the story without affecting its flow. So this is something to consider before you read this book. This was the biggest struggle to me when reading.
Nevertheless, I found main characters of the book to be very likeable and I was worried how Faith’s relationship with her mom would evolve. Faith’s mother in the book was one of the most interesting characters to me. I think she makes a good antagonist and very often I felt strongly about everything she was doing or saying which I think is a sign of well-done character. However, I would want to hear more from her, more reasoning for why she did what she did. The latter was especially true towards other characters in the book. To me the other members of the family and Faith’s best friend, Jenna, were a little bit one-dimensional. Scenes with them sometimes were too casual and did not actually reveal anything about their characters.
Intermission is a very easy book to read. The writing is simple and flows naturally. There were some moments where I could say that it was a bit melodramatic. Like here:
Janey perks one ear and swivels her head toward him. She must have caught the same things in his tone I did. Frustration. Exhaustion. Sadness.
I believe things like that are better to show in a scene or a dialogue and not just describe them. As a reader I will feel all these emotions from the scene more than when they are just listed on the page. Metaphors and allegories would help too.
Per contra, there were beautiful monologues like this one, that I can entirely relate too:
“Right on cue, my jaw tightens and my mouth dries, a familiar sensation that generally follows the appearance of those illusory butterflies. But I don’t fear this particular incarnation of stage fright. I welcome the feeling now, because I suddenly remember that those butterflies are working on my behalf. They’re simply condensing the magic, safeguarding it… until the moment when I step into the lights and they give it back to me.
It’s an incomparable thrill, this pre-performance high. I feel like I could faint or cry ot throw up or laugh hysterically or spontaneously combust, but… wow! I love this feeling. It’s such a rush!
This. This is what I want. This is how I want to live. This is… me, being fully, unequivocally alive.”
In conclusion I want to confess that I don’t read many YA books and thus I can’t pass for an expert here. But I’m confident that this is a very light and kind book, and for those who’re just dreaming to become artists it would be a perfect read.