Recently, I have found myself gravitating towards the young adult genre and now and then I would find one that intrigues me. When I read the synopsis for Raise the Curtain, I knew right away; I had to read this book.
What the Story is About
Seventeen-year-old Alexa Cross dreams of one day making it on Broadway. She practices every day to ensure that she gains a scholarship, which would be the first step in realising her dream. However, she faces two obstacles, a failing math grade and a disapproving father. The first obstacle is easy to overcome, but the second would prove to be her biggest challenge.
West Harlow, has suffered his share of pain and loss. His inability to channel his anger in a positive way placed him in trouble, which led to switching schools. Determined to keep out of trouble and maintain good grades, he kept to himself and avoided all forms of social activities. However, when recruited to become Alexa’s maths tutor, he slowly found himself changing his perspective. He would find himself on a journey of healing and acceptance.
What I enjoyed
Raise the Curtain which was narrated in alternate POVs, is not just about two teenagers falling in love. It is a story of healing, acceptance and accomplishing one’s dreams. The story highlighted issues of abandonment, classism and low self-esteem. There was the typical teenage drama and angst that one would expect form a story such as this, but it was not overly done.
I love stories that features a strong and likeable heroine and Raise the Curtain did not disappoint. I admired Alexa or her loyalty to her friends; her love for her family and her dedication towards achieving her goals. In spite of the obstacles faced, which came not only in the form of a failing grade and a father’s disapproval, but also from a jealous peer, she demonstrated determination in the pursuit of her dreams. She was not the pretentious type and despite her station in life she was never a snob.
West is hounded by of a tragic event from his past. He spent most of his time in solitude and avoided making friends. West is a quiet and brooding hero. I admired his love for his mom and his willingness to help even he desired to be left alone.
I loved the interaction between West and Alexa. However, as time went by, he warmed up to her. Initially, he thought her to be a rich and spoilt and being recruited to tutor her was not an ideal situation from his perspective. She thought he was an arrogant douche. However, the more time they spent in each other’s company they would realise that first impressions is not what they always seem.
I enjoyed watching both characters growing to become a better version of themselves. By the time the story ended West was no longer the closed of angry young I first met and he had become better at socialising. Alexa’s relationship with her father improved and things appeared to be looking up.
I loved the development of the relationship between Alexa and West. They started out on a not so friendly course, which slowly developed into something meaningful and worth fighting for.
The issues I had.
I had problems with Alexa’s father’s attitude towards her dreams and her friendship with West. I understand wanting the best for your child, but his actions were just wrong. He saw her love for the performing arts as a hobby. His desire was for her to stick to the path he chose for her and not go after the things she loved. He failed to see how stifling his actions were.
This book not only featured a sweet romance, awesome friendships and family dynamics. It was a story of healing, self-discovery and acceptance. If you are a fan of the young adult genre and enjoy a sweet and charming story then you will love Raise the Curtain.
Seventeen-year-old Alexa Cross is desperate to get to Broadway, but when she receives a failing math grade, hopes of a scholarship disappear. Now she’ll need her father’s help to achieve her dream. The only problem is he doesn’t consider her choice of careers to be sensible and after the pain her family has suffered, Alexa can’t go against his wishes. Trapped between a family she loves and her love of the stage, Alexa will have to find another way to achieve her dream or settle for what her father wants.
West Howell does his best to keep his head down and go unnoticed. It’s easier to be cut off than to try to explain to people why he’s so screwed up. After all, he can’t afford to get into any more trouble. When he’s recruited to tutor the hot, prissy girl from math, he never expects to fall in love with her. Or that she might be the one person who can relate to him.
Together, they may find a way to heal each other and get what they both desperately need, as long as Alexa’s father doesn’t decide that the one thing worse than his daughter’s love of the stage is her love for West.
About The Author
Christina Kirby is the author of the Warm Springs Trilogy, A Face In the Crowd, and writes YA under the name Kirby Hall.
She holds a degree in Public Relations from Auburn University and is currently a stay at home mom to two sons.
An avid reader of romance and obsessed with good TV, Christina likes nothing more than to talk pop culture with other fans. She also believes a copy of Entertainment Weekly and a chocolate chip cookie can cure anything.