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The Four Dorothys: Drama!    by Paul Ruditis order for
Four Dorothys
by Paul Ruditis
Order:  USA  Can
Pulse, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Bryan Stark, narrator of The Four Dorothys is one of the self-styled drama geeks at exclusive Orion Academy in Malibu, California, attended by 'the sons and daughters of the biggest movers and shakers in Hollywood'. Bryan is gay but hasn't come out yet. He and Samantha 'Sam' Lawson (whose mother teaches at the school) are inseparable, and Hope is another close friend.

The school is staging The Wizard of Oz for its annual spring production - with four Dorothys for a single performance! Why you ask? It's a very long story, for which you need to read the book. There's Sam, Cindy, Suze, and 'typical spoiled Hollywood brat' Heather Mayflower. The mystery begins when a metal lighting instrument falls onto the stage where the four stars are standing. Luckily they escape injury - this time.

A series of nasty - and dangerous - incidents follow that sabotage the four, one by one. Bryan wonders who's trying to whittle down the number of Dorothys and tries to find out. While stars drop 'faster than flying monkeys in a field of poppies', he also has to deal with watching his best friend Sam acquire as a boyfriend 'the beach blond perfect specimen' Eric, whom Bryan particularly dislikes.

Though the mystery is fun, the friends' banter is even better, carrying the story to a satisfactory - but never serious - conclusion at the fantabulous junior prom. At the back of the book is an excerpt from the next Drama! episode - where we're told to grab a seat for Encore, encore!

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