A short but gritty story finds a teen stymied by her relentless pursuit of her dream.
Seventeen-year-old Caitlin desperately wants to be an actress, defying her parents to skip three weeks of school when she’s cast in a real movie. That means she’ll have to give up what she’s sure will be the lead in her high school production of West Side Story, while a bright and talented new girl both gets the part and befriends Caitlin’s neglected best friends. She also won’t be able to spend quality time with her boyfriend, Mark, as he pursues his music career. Caitlin pours out lie upon lie to deceive her parents, who forbid her to take the movie job. The production schedule is so heavy that Caitlin finds she can’t keep up with her homework, and when the director bullies her into doing a topless scene, she keeps it secret from everyone. Mark gets a real chance in his music career, but Caitlin remains too consumed with her own difficulties to notice. Finally, everything falls into chaos. Handman chooses a subject sure to attract her target audience and guides them into their own realizations about Caitlin and what happens when fantasy meets reality. Her characterizations ring true, adding even more punch to this alluring character study and morality tale.
Short but punchy and highly effective. (Fiction. 12 & up)