Love on Cue by Catherine Hapka focuses around Maggie Tannery, a theater-obsessed girl whose acting prowess doesn’t extend to self-confidence in singing, or in relation to cute guys. When her drama teacher ends up retiring early, the high school drama production ends up changing from Romeo and Juliet to Cabaret. After looking forward to playing Juliet, Maggie’s stage fright when it comes to singing almost prevents her auditioning for Cabaret at all, but of course she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play across her personal dream Romeo, Derek. In order to conquer her fears, Maggie turns to Nico, her high school’s musical genius, for help. As show time gets closer and things heat up, Maggie is forced to question who the leading man in her life should be.
Love on Cue is the latest Simon Pulse romantic comedy. Now, when I pick up one of these, I know to expect something light and fun, and not to judge the book on its depth or the quality of writing. Still, especially compared to Hapka’s other two romantic comedies, this book was a disappointment. Early on, I couldn’t help but be bothered that the book cover named Maggie’s crush as Daniel, yet by the end of the first chapter this guy had a completely different name: Derek. More importantly, even from the perspective of someone who has been involved in theater, Hapka is too repetitive when it comes to her portrayal of high school theater and acting exercises, so the reader feels like many of the chapters are based off the same content with slight variety. Also, despite the high school setting, Love on Cue’s narration sounds more on par with novels geared towards students in middle school, not high school. Still, Nico’s character is charming, and, thought abrupt, the ending is cute. 5 out of 10.