Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Review: Glee - The Beginning by Sophia Lowell

Publisher: Headline
Format: Paperback
Released: August 5th, 2010
Grade rating: B+/A-

Amazon summary:

CALLING ALL GLEEKS! Get more of your favourite characters in this official Glee prequel! All great performances deserve a warm-up! Enroll early at McKinley High to find out what went on before New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr Schuester’s eye. When did Rachel first decide Finn was more than just a jock? When did Puck and Quinn start their secret romance? And how did the fledgling Glee Club function without a fearless leader? Hint: It wasn’t exactly a perfect melody. Break out the gold stars and refill the slushies: it’s time to find out what happened to all your favourite characters before the show-mance began. These novels contain additional storylines to those featured in the hit TV show.


GLEEEEEEEEE!! Yep, if you can't already tell, I loved this book. It's the perfect antidote to pining away for the TV show, and is written so well that you feel like you're watching it rather than reading it. Sophia Lowell manages to capture each character's dialogue and personality perfectly, and offers an extra insight into their pre-Glee lives.

I'll be honest here: I'm quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of the show so I knew I'd like it, but I was a bit concerned about whether the author would be able to recreate the essence of Ryan Murphy's TV sensation. Lowell has proved that, although TV tie-ins can be hit or miss, if you know what you're writing about then it can easily be done really well. A passion for the show is obviously needed, as well as an understanding of the characters that are widely loved and close to fan's hearts.

Lowell writes each character as if she's actually spent time in their heads (or numerous scripts), especially when it comes to Rachel, Quinn and Sue Sylvester. Some of Sue's dialogue made me laugh for ages, and I could just visualise Jane Lynch shouting at the Glee kids as she sabotaged yet another one of their plans. The insight into Rachel and Quinn's lives explains a lot of things you'll have seen in the show, and actually made me like both of them more than I did before. I would have liked to see Mr. Schu grace a few more pages, but The Beginning is more about the kid's story, not his.

Aside from a couple of questionable references (Usher's song 'OMG' wouldn't have been released pre-Glee Season 1), Glee: The Beginning is a brilliant start to what I hope will be a long line of tie-in books based on the show. I'm already looking forward to Foreign Exchange, though unfortunately I'll have to wait until February for that. If you're a fan of the show, make sure you pick this one up - it'll do a great job of curing any withdrawal symptoms you might be experiencing!


SWK said...

As a total Gleek, I was suspicious of the whole novelization-of-tv-series angle for MY show :) However, I'm intrigued. Maybe I'll give the books a try.

Carla said...

I want Sue to come and live at my house, then we can sit around and call everyone, especially Mr Schu and that floppy hair of his. We would lauuuuuuugh so much and discuss how hard it is to be awesome all the time. She would of course bring Madonna cd's to keep us company. it would be EPIC. of course, your invited. You bring the snack.

Blueicegal ♥ said...

Jennyyyyy :D hehe, so i saw this at the bookstore, but im not such a fan well Ive watched like two eps? and it didn't appeal to me, so i doubt i should be going for the book, but sounds like Glee fans will love it!

Alea said...

I'm about half way through it's hit and miss for me. The worst for me was Puck Puckerman, that's SO not even his name!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I adore Glee so I'm very much looking forward to starting this one. I'm glad it lives up to the show!

Lucie said...

I can't wait to buy this for myself. Love Glee, and I hope the tie-in books are just as good as the show! Fab review!

Andrea said...

Haven't decide whether or not to read these, but I'm glad you liked it.

Thao said...

You sound so excited it makes me want to read this book right away. Thanks for the review, Jenny ^^

Goon said...

It's difficult to make a show into a book, I'm glad that this turned out well because I'm a complete Gleek. I can't wait to read this book, your review made me excited!

ThunderClap Morgridge said...

Having watched and rewatched the series, the book is crap. She obviously didn't watch hardly any of the series and even did a poor job of that. You are better served with fanfiction.