Red at Night

Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

published on April 1st, 2012 by Scholastic
Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance

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EMME has long lived in her best friend Sophie’s shadow. She writes songs, and Sophie sings them. It’s always been like this, and feels like it always will be.

SOPHIE will stop at nothing to be a star. Even if it means using her best friend and picking up a trophy boyfriend, Carter.

CARTER is a victim of a particular Hollywood curse: He’s a former child star. Now all he wants is a normal life. But being normal is about as hard for him as being famous.

ETHAN has his own issues — a darkness in his head that he just can’t shake. He’s managed to sabotage every relationship he’s even been in. Emme’s the only girl he’s ever really respected… but he’s not sure what to do about that.

Emme, Sophie, Carter, and Ethan are all students at a performing arts high school, where talent is the normal and fame is the goal. But sometimes, being in the spotlight isn’t as important as the people you’re sharing it with.


I don’t give out 4 stars easily. It takes a lot to impress me with a book (mostly because I’m picky and I know what I want). However, I went into Take a Bow with high expectations due to some extraordinary reviews, and I’ll admit I was genuinely impressed with what Elizabeth Eulberg managed to pull off.

Take a Bow follows 4 very different people through their journey at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in New York. This prestigious school is not your typical high school – it’s essentially for those who have creative gifts and talents. From singers and musicians to actors and painters, this is where the creative shine. Each of the 4 characters we follow have different reasons they’re at this school, different talents, and strikingly different personalities; and throughout the story we follow them as they learn about some very important lessons about love, friendship, and following your dreams.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m an actress. Theatre is my passion. Being up on stage gives me an adrenaline rush like nothing else. Because of this, I was able to connect to Take a Bow in a way that some readers might not have been able to.

I really liked Eulberg’s writing in this. It wasn’t necessarily overly eloquent or descriptive, but it was sweet and really fit the characters. It legitimately sounded like a teenager was narrating, and I really appreciated that.

If you read the description for this story, it mentions the story is narrated with four POVs. Now, while this may sound intimidating at first (and for good reason!), I’d like to say that I really felt this style was well-done. Normally when reading a book with multiple POVs the concern is that sometimes all the different POVs blends together. Not with Take a Bow. Each POV has a distinct and personable feel to it, and you can immediately tell who is narrating without even needing to check the chapter headers.

As for the characters, I really liked the development Eulberg put into each of them. They’re all distinct and unique and have their own personalities and motives.

  • Emme is – essentially – the main character of the story. She’s been composing songs for her best friend Sophie for as long as she can remember, letting Sophie sing them; and she’s content being out of the spotlight. But now? She realizes she may just have a hidden talent ready to shine.
  • Sophie is a talented singer whose goal is to become famous. But what if that plan doesn’t quite work out? Who would she be then?
  • Carter is a former child actor with a secret: he doesn’t like acting anymore. He wants to be an artist. But is he able to put people’s expectations of him aside to follow his dream?
  • Ethan has liked Emme ever since he first met her. But is there any way he could get her to see he’s more than just a fellow band member?

All in all, Elizabeth Eulberg has concocted a spellbinding novel, and I found myself absolutely loving every aspect of it. If you’re a fan of contemporary and/or performing arts novels, this is definitely something to check out.

pagebreak Skulls 4


Have you read from Elizabeth Eulberg before? Do you want to?

About Zoe

Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.

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33 thoughts on “Review: Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

  1. At first I really wouldn’t have picked this book up because I’ve read a lot of stories about a famous girl and her behind the scenes best friend. However…. your review makes me want to try this one! I love multiple POVs (although maybe not 4 but who knows?) and if this actually revolves around Performing Arts then I’m definitely up for it!
    Lovely review, Zoe! <3


    1. I haven’t read many books like that (although if you have some good recs on books like that, definitely let me know!), so for me at least, the premise was pretty original. The 4 POVs may be a bit daunting at first; but they’re all distinct and well-done. :D Thank you Marianne! Glad you’re intrigued! <3


  2. I’ve read another book by Elizabeth Eulberg that I didn’t necessarily love (I think it was The Lonely Hearts Club?). But I’d definitely be willing to give this book a go, because most of the things I love are creative and performing arts-based!


    1. If you like everything performing arts / creative, this is definitely something to try – even if you didn’t necessarily love her first book. Thanks Emily! <3



    I'm so glad you loved this one so much! I'll definitely be checking it out now (:

    It's wonderful that you were able to connect with this story personally, I find stories in which you can actually see yourself as one with the characters are the best. I'm also glad that the narration was overwhelming or flowery. In contemporaries I find that the writing style that works best is one that's rather simplistic as it gives a more organic feel to a teen's voice.

    Multiple POVs tend to worry me, but I'm glad each character had their own very defined and clear personality so they didn't meld as one. It's good to hear that they're all unique, with their own personalities and story to tell.

    Lovely review girl! (: Nice seeing you on Deadly Darlings now.


    1. Awww! :D

      I completely agree. If a story just screams “you” when you read it, there’s always a guarantee that you’ll be able to connect to it in a more personal way – and thus like it more. :D

      The 4 POVs are definitely quite daunting; but they’re all distinct and defined, so that’s definitely not a huge problem.

      Thank you! <3


  4. It’s been so long since I’ve read this book but I remember liking it a lot as well! Having read most of Eulberg’s other work, I really think this was her at her best. And juggling four characters is such a hard thing to do but like you, I thought Eulberg did a really great job as well. And so cool that you’re an actress! I’m not an actress (haha, I have zero acting skill) but I do love the theatre so while I couldn’t relate to them per se as an actor, I definitely did enjoy reading about their experiences at their performing arts school. Which is, weirdly enough, one of my favourite settings ever, probably because of how much I love watching Fame!


    1. Juggling four characters is definitely not an easy task, but Eulberg definitely manages it, doesn’t she? :D Haha! I had no idea you’re into theatre Annie! :D And it does remind me quite a lot of Fame setting-wise, which is awesome!


    1. It is absolutely wonderful! I haven’t read Eulberg’s Better Off Friends yet so I’m not quite sure how it compares, but this was wonderful in its own right. Thank you! <3


  5. Elizabeth Eulberg wrote Better off Friends, yeah? Looks like now I have more than one novel by her to devour :) So it’s like Juilliard? I love books about love, friendship and dreams! I didn’t know about you being an actress! WOW. I love that, Zoe! You should totally make a post about it on your blog btw. If you haven’t already. If so, link me up :) I actually don’t like a whole lot description so this style may just suit me perfectly. “Each POV has a distinct and personable feel to it, and you can immediately tell who is narrating without even needing to check the chapter headers.” THIS. So many times, this doesn’t happen, but when it does? Oh, boy! That’s just the most awesome. Heh, Emme and her character sound like in some Disney movie, honestly. But I don’t mind! I love them so all’s good :D EEH EEHHH EHHHHHHHH SO ETHAN AND EMME? I SHIP IT. IDK WHY OR HOW, BUT I ALREADY SHIP IT. So happy you were able to connect and loved it, Zoe. Beautiful review, gorgeous!


    1. She did! :D
      It is definitely like the high school version Julliard! If you’re a fan of books with those themes, this is definitely something you’d probably enjoy!
      And haha! Thanks Siiri! :D Maybe…I’ll definitely consider it! ;) If I do, I’ll make sure to let you know!
      I completely agree! It’s so annoying when books with multiple POVs just clam together and begin sounding indistinguishable; but this definitely doesn’t happen here.
      And bahaha! Ethan and Emme are awesome! ;)
      Thank you Siiri! <3


  6. I saw this book some months ago and was instinctively drawn to its beautiful cover. It reminded me (A BIT) of the movie ”Fame” which I love and LOVE LOVE LOVE the song. The author seems to gave pulled off a lot of stuff; bravo to her. I’ve read some books with 4 distinct POVs and enjoyed them (though I was younger…) and since you said they’re all different and have their charm well will give it a try probably. I knew you were an actress and that you love gymnastics. ^^ Anyway, fab review, Zoe. <3

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books


    1. I haven’t seen Fame, but a lot of people have said this is quite similar, so if you liked the movie, you’d probably like this! (Don’t quote me on that though, because I don’t know how the two compare!)

      She definitely does pile a lot of different things into one book – so yeah for that! :D

      Haha! You’re good Lola! ;)

      Thank you! <3


    1. Hey Carmel! I don’t know…maybe? ;) Haha! xD
      It’s so annoying when that happens, because they all mash into one, which, frankly, is quite annoying, but they’re all quite distinct here, which is great!


  7. Hi Zoe!! :) I’m glad this book impressed you and I really think that when a reader is able to connect to a book on a personal level, it’d make the reading all the more worthwhile and fun. I’m also so happy to see the 4 POVs worked really well and was written distinctively. Lovely review, Zoe!


    1. Hey Sarah! :) Thank you! :D

      I completely agree! If a story just screams “you” when you read it, there’s always a guarantee that you’ll be able to connect to it in a more personal way – and thus like it more. :D

      Thanks! <3


  8. I actually read this book last year and I am pretty sure I liked it. Some details may be a little bit blurry now but I think I LOVED Ethan and Emme together. I’m happy that this book worked out for you, too! Great review, Zoe! :D


  9. Such a lovely first review here @ Deadly Darlings! :D

    I think I’ll try this one. Its been a long time since I read anything singing related. I can’t wait to check it out, because it looks like I’ll like it. Does it have character development? I think it does :D


    1. Aww…thank you Jules! *blushes*

      If you’re into singing / performing arts stories, this is definitely something to pick up. And it definitely has TONS of character development!


    1. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? xD
      I really admire how well the 4 POVs were done because it’s so difficult to make them so distinct like this, but Eulberg absolutely nailed it. :D Thank you! <3


  10. Awesome review, Zoe! I like that you’re an actress. When I was in high School, I loved acting, too. I had 4 stage plays and I really enjoyed all the practicing, all the tears and blood and sweat poured into it to make sure that the performance and everything is perfect. And I guess I’m an artist too because I like drawing and writing and painting. I haven’t really shared them yet to everyone else, but I would love to, and I feel like this is that kinda book where I could have a heart-to-heart talk about letting your talents (and yourself) shine!

    Faye at The Social Potato


    1. Thank you Faye! <3

      HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS? That's awesome! :D Even if you haven't really shared your artistic side with many people, I think this would definitely speak to you with your writing, painting, theatrical and drawing talents. :)


  11. You’re an actress? That is so cool. I strangely have this weird urge to join a performance. I’m not really sure why. I’m such a shy person that I would probably be bad at it. Haha! But I really do want to do a live performance. Maybe someday? But for now, I think I would enjoy living vicariously through these characters. This kind of reminds me of two movies – Raise Your Voice and Fame. Exclusive arts school and all. I love those kinds of stories. I look up to those people who have such astounding talent. I wish I could be them sometimes. But I’m pretty sure a couple of them work hard for it. :P


    1. I am! :D Thank you Francine! If you want to join a performance, I’d say go for it! Some of my fellow theatre friends are shy too; and theatre / acting is where they are able to get out of their shells and really become someone. Even if you don’t though, I think this book is a great alternative! ;) I haven’t watched Raise Your Voice or Fame yet, but a lot of other people have noticed similarities between them and this book; so if you enjoyed them (especially the performing arts settings!), definitely give this a go! I’m sure you have a ton of talent Francine!


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