Rating: 3.5 / 5
I received THE LOVE CURSE OF MELODY MCINTYRE by Robin Talley in my YA Once Upon a Book Club box. This is another book I wasn’t familiar with, but heard it centered on a production of Les Misérables, one of my favorite musicals, so I was eager to read it!
The title character of THE LOVE CURSE OF MELODY MCINTYRE has great ambitions in the world of theater. She devotes her life to being the stage manager for her school’s theater productions. When a messy break up with her girlfriend happens right in the middle of Romeo & Juliet and causes her to momentarily falter in her duties, the people around her call her out for her track record of serial relationships.
The theater crowd is a superstitious bunch and their theater has seen more tragedy than most with a fire in its past and countless issues when theater superstitions aren’t followed to the letter. They have a tradition of creating a new superstition for each production and they’ve decided that Melody isn’t allowed to fall in love until they’ve pulled off the very ambitious Les Mis. She doesn’t think this will be a problem until Odile Rose, an up and coming actress, is cast in a lead role.
There were things I enjoyed about this one. Getting a glimpse of the backstage world of the theater and the many various ways the crew worked to pull things off was very interesting. The references to Les Mis from the characters to the costumes to the music were the highlight of the book for me! I liked the way the author included stage notes and cast memos and other mixed media between chapters.
All that said, overall this book was unfortunately a bit of a miss for me overall, largely because I didn’t especially care for Melody. She is very dedicated to her role as the stage manager which I could appreciate, and she is good at her job (mostly), but the extent to which she developed tunnel vision and put her job over her best friends didn’t sit well with me. Once Melody meets Odile, suddenly she’s abandoning both her friends and her duties to focus on this single person.
This was a quick read and I did enjoy parts of it, but it isn’t one I’m going to highly recommend.