Release date: May 17, 2016
The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her the tragic love story of Nick and Emma that played out on the theater’s stage all those years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to rewrite for her drama class, but when she goes searching for more information, she makes a startling discovery—the Avery is rapidly regaining its former splendor and setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive Nick and Emma’s romance. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.
I first thought Spark was a contemporary romance, but it is more of a supernatural book, about reviving a past through a star-crossed love. Quin’s mother has been trying to get the local theatre Avery to not be torn down, and since she is also their drama teacher, has made the Advanced Drama class of the school to put on Avery’s last play to raise funds. Quin, for her part, loves the bedtime story she was brought up on – the story of Emma and Nick, who died on the stage of the Avery in 1947. So now, being made the director of the play she is put to the task to get her reluctant classmates to bring about a miracle – to put on a play that won’t, at the very least, embarrass them. Worse is the fact that they have mostly been put into roles they don’t want – like her best friend Cass, who wishes to stay out of the spotlight due to the huge birthmark on her face, but has been cast as the lead, or the quiet stuttering loner Dylan, who has been made the music director.
But what Quin doesn’t expect is the fact of the two of them, Cass and Dylan, coming together and continuing the story of the lovers from before. With them, the magic of the theatre has come alive, as was foretold by Quin’s own great grandmother. So, while she and Cass are hiding the secret of the magic of the theater, events are unfolding to show Quin the past. The writing I found to be descriptive in a way that brought the magic of seeing it along with it, a story unfolding in the mind just like how it was being shown to Quin. The magic itself isn’t really explained, though, which was a let-down for me. Everybody just sees it and goes along with it – like an entire town – and nobody questions whether some hallucinogen got into their water supply. And any plot hole was explained away by magic. That ending was good, though, and brought a nice conclusion to the story. In summation, I found it to be an interesting story, but felt a lot of details were skimmed over.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.