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Once More with Feeling: A Novel (edición 2023)
por Elissa Sussman (Autor)
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Once More with Feeling: A Novel por Elissa Sussman
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Elissa Sussman is so good at writing comeback/reunion type stories. Her book Funny You Should Ask was one of my favorite’s last year and I was thrilled to get my hands on Once More with Feeling.
I was never a theater kid, but I love attending musical theater productions. Everything about these characters felt real to me. I loved the flashbacks that gave clues to how Kathleen and Cal’s story began. I do wish we’d heard more from Cal’s POV. Not that it was hard to tell what he was thinking, I just wish he’d had a part in the story telling.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for this complimentary ARC. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
"Then. Katee Rose is living the dream as America's number one pop star, caught in a whirlwind of sold-out concerts, screaming fans, and constant tabloid coverage. Everyone wants to know everything about her and her boyfriend, Ryan LaNeve, the hottest member of adored boy band CrushZone. Katee loves to perform but hates the impossible demands of stardom. Maybe that's why she finds herself in the arms of another CrushZone member, Cal Kirby. Quiet, serious Cal, who's always been a good friend to Katee, is suddenly Cal with the smoldering eyes and very good hands. One unforgettable night is all it takes to blow up Katee's relationship with Ryan, her career, her whole life. Now. Kathleen Rosenberg is okay with her ordinary existence, and leaving her pop star image in the past. That is, until Cal Kirby shows up with the opportunity of her dreams-a starring role in the Broadway show he's directing and a chance to perform the way she's always wanted. The two haven't spoken since the joint destruction of their careers, and each of them blames the other, making their reunion a tense battle of wits and egos. Katee reluctantly agrees to the musical, as long as she keeps her guard up around Cal. But rehearsals are long, those eyes still smolder, and those hands are still very good. Despite everything, Katee can't deny the chemistry between them. Is it ever a good idea to reignite old flames? Especially if you've been burned in the past?"--
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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Now, Kathleen Rosenberg has the opportunity to live her life-long dream, to star on Broadway in a part written specifically for her by her best friend Harriett. The only hitch is that the show is to be directed by one Calvin Tyler Kirby.
Cal was there for Katee's fall from grace and didn't offer the support she desperately needed. Instead he saw his career flourish. Now, Cal holds Katherine's comeback in the palm of his hand. It's a position she doesn't want to be in, but too good of an opportunity to turn down.
They're both professionals, they can keep their animosity at bay for the sake of the show. But being back together day in and day out brings up feelings and emotions once pushed aside in the face of scandal. Can they face the past while trying to make their show a success?
I'm a big fan of second-chance stories (mainly in the romance department) and Once More With Feeling certainly counts - in my mind - as a romance, but to me I was more interested in Katherine getting a second chance at her dream. The story is told in multiple timelines. Present, of course, then the past filling in the the blanks leading up to the scandal, and then further back still showing readers where Katherine and Cal, and Katherine and Harriett started. Because of course you can't have second-chance without the past informing the present state of things. I thought that Elissa Sussman balanced all these timelines perfectly. The message is conveyed without taking away from the forward momentum of the story.
I really wanted Katherine to succeed. She was dealt an unfair deal ten years ago. She certainly didn't deserve to lose her career over it, but you can tell she's grown wary in the years since and could very well be her own obstacle to resurrecting her dreams. But in that regard I also appreciate that she's very, I suppose, weathered by celebrity. She knows her involvement in the show will draw attention and scrutiny of her person, but she's at the point where the worst has already happened to her and she survived through it.
Once More With Feeling is such a love letter to musical theater. If you are or were active in theater then you'll feel the love of this craft just leaping off the page. The hard work and the talent it takes to perform, the risk in hoping that the show you love will be beloved by the audience.
If anything I wish we had gotten just a little bit more from the Katherine/Harriett dynamic. Their friendship is undeniable, but there were times I felt like it was too over-shadowed by that of Katherine/Cal.
Speaking of, I loved how kind of unassuming the relationship between Katherine and Cal is at first. We know he played some part in the scandal, there's hints that they have known each other for along time, but as we connect the dots and are filled in on exactly how connected they are in the past, it really enhances their interactions in the present, and makes what happened ten years ago all the more heartbreaking.
I had not read Elissa Sussman's previous book (although it is on my TBR list), but I already can tell she will be an author I will read more of in the future.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I was totally immersed within Katherine's story of growing up in the public eye but still trying to live your dreams. ( )