Review Julia Hoban Acting Normal

ISBN 13: 9780060235192

Acting Normal

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9780060235192: Acting Normal

At eighteen, Stephanie Holt is too young to be a has-been, but she is certainly a far cry from the successful actress she once was. Stephanie had starred in numerous commercials and was well in pursuit of her dream to become a great actress, but she was forced to abandon her career when a long-surpressed memory form the past resurfaced and plunged her into an emotional breakdown. Now trying to recover, she's hoping to blend in at a new school and lead the life of a normal teenager, but her memories continue to haunt her. Will Stephanie ever over come her past?

Julia Hoban captures the uncertainties of adolescence and the realities of the acting life in this riveting portrayal of a teenage actor's struggles with her own memories.At eighteen, Stephanie Holt is too young to be a has-been, but she is certainly a far cry from the successful commercial actress she once was. Her acting classes were brought to an abrupt halt when a routine memory exercise revealed a painful past Stephanie had successfully suppressed for many years. The result was a nervousbreakdown. Trying to recover, she’s hoping to blend in at a new public school, but the past continues to haunt her. Julia Hoban captures the uncertainties of adolescence and the realities of the acting life in this riveting portrayal of a teenage actor’s struggles with her own memories.

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Review:

Many fine young adult novels about molestation have been built on a basic framework: a disturbed teenager hides a traumatic incident, suffers alone, and is finally healed when she is able to share her secret with a therapist or friend. The compelling titles in this genre include When She Hollers, by Cynthia Voigt; Telling, by Marilyn Reynolds; I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, by Jacqueline Woodson; and The Hanged Man, by Francesca Lia Block. They are now joined by Julia Hoban's compassionate first novel, Acting Normal. Eighteen-year-old Stephanie Holt wants to "act normal" at her new school, which means concealing her past career as an actress in TV commercials, her aspirations to be a "real" actor, and the terrible event in her recent past that has led to a year of institutions and psychiatrists. Her secretiveness separates her from the possibility of friendship until brash, sarcastic Dahlia takes her on as a buddy. With the help of many sessions with an understanding therapist, Stephanie is finally able to face the memory of the nanny who abused her when she was 5 years old--a memory that devastated her when it suddenly surfaced during an acting class. With newfound strength and a clearer understanding that she was not at fault for the abuse, Stephanie is able to help her friend Dahlia solve her problems with an older boyfriend, and to courageously embark upon her own plans to pursue acting. Teens with an interest in repressed memories and troubled childhoods will find Stephanie's revelation moving and inspiring. --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Julia Hoban's books for children include the I Can Read Books Buzby and Buzby to the Rescue, both illustrated by John Himmelman. An actress and playwright, Ms. Hoban lives in New York City.

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Julia Hoban
Published by HarperTeen (1998)
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Julia Hoban
Published by HarperTeen (1998)
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