Fearless by Mandy Gonzalez
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this spooky middle grade novel from Hamilton and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez about a group of young thespians who must face the ghost haunting their theater.
The Ethel Merman Theater is cursed. No one is sure how or why, but the evidence speaks for itself. Show after show has flopped and the theater is about to close. Enter twelve-year-old Monica Garcia, who has been cast to star in a Broadway musical revival of The Goonies, the theater’s last chance to produce a hit before it shutters its doors for good.
The kids in the cast each have their own reasons for wanting to make the show a success, and all eyes in the theater world are on them. Will this show finally break the curse of the Ethel? The kids aren’t quite sure if the curse is even real, but when their first performance doesn’t quite go as planned, it certainly feels that way.
Then they realize the ghost light—the light that is always kept on at every theater in order to appease the ghosts—wasn’t lit! When the kids rush to flick the switch back on, they find themselves locked in the theater—but that’s the least of their problems when the ghost of the Ethel makes her debut appearance!
Can the cast overcome their fears and reverse the ghost’s curse before opening night so they can save the show—and their dreams?
This was a cute, quick read.
I don’t know much about theater, so I found a lot of this book interesting. But the main stand out was Monica. I adored her and the rest of the young cast. Monica lives in California and wants to be on Broadway. When she gets the call to be an understudy for a lead, Monica and her grandma fly out to New York City. When they get there, Monica finds out that she was actually the understudy to the understudy. But the curse on the theater has already struck and both girls are out. So Monica is now the lead for her first musical and it’s on Broadway. She meets the rest of the cast and they quickly become friends. Bad things keep happening though and they’re afraid the production won’t happen. The kids work together to learn the history of the theater to try to break the curse.
There is such a great focus on friendship in this book. It’s definitely not the focus of the book, but it stood out to me. I really liked how close the kids got and how much they helped each other. I loved the haunted/cursed theater aspect of the story, too. There’s also a great focus on family, especially Monica and her abuelita.
I gave this book four stars and I’m looking forward to reading the second book next year.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me a finished copy for review.
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR?