I read Counting Down With You a few months back and fell in love with Tashie’s fluffy and feel good writing, so I was excited to read her sophomore novel, A Show For Two!
Title: A Show For Two
Author: Tashie Bhuiyan
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
A Show For Two is about Mina, a senior in high school determined to win the Golden Ivy student film competition with her best friend Rosie as co-president of the club. Mina’s dream is to leave New York City and attend Stanford University in California, known as one of the best colleges for film making in the country – not only that, she can’t wait to get away from her controlling parents.
When indie film start Emmitt Ramos starts attending her high school undercover to learn about American high schools for a new film project, Mina knows she has to get Emmitt to be in their film.
This book had the fluffy and feel good writing I was expecting, it had hilarious moments between Mina and Emmitt who start out as enemies and quickly grow to like each other, but I truly did not like Mina as a character. There were moments I was really enjoying this book and then within the next page Mina would do a 180 and feel completely different.
Mina did feel like a realistic teenager who wants to get away from her controlling family and get as far away as possible, but truthfully, she was incredibly annoying. She continually called Emmitt “dickhead” throughout the story, which really didn’t feel very “young adult” to me – it became annoying real fast and just felt inappropriate when she called him that in school too. Not just once in a while – every. single. time. she wanted to say his name.
Mina’s relationship with her best friend and her sister, both of whom she was close with prior to the events of this story, is strained through the story.
I do feel like Mina got the short end of the stick sometimes, and I didn’t think what she was trying to achieve was necessarily wrong, but people in her life were hurt because of it and bridges were burned. The third act conflict which I knew was coming, but it was still frustrating as a reader.
This book did have its fun moments, with Mina helping Emmitt with a photography project and taking him all over the 5 boroughs of New York City. A Show For Two is a true love letter to New York, and as a New Yorker, I felt that love. I loved the chemistry between Mina and Emmitt, it all felt like a natural progression.
I really enjoyed the representation and diversity in this book. Mina is Bangladeshi and we see a small glimpse into her family life. Emmitt is half-Chinese. This also deals with mental health, specifically how Mina deals with her depression – she has a few depressive episodes throughout the book.
Overall, I’m giving this 2.5 stars and rounding up to 3 because it was fine, but there were moments I almost considered DNF-ing it. I wish I had enjoyed this one more. I read it almost completely in one day, so its a quick read!
The narrator was fine reading normally or reading Mina’s parts, but her ability to add voices for other characters was lacking. One of my favorite thing about narrators is when they add voices to the other characters and this felt pretty flat overall. Nothing wrong with the audio, but not my favorite and you wouldn’t miss out by not listening.
I ended up on 2.7x speed by the end.
I love that this is based on the authors real life experience when Tom Holland went undercover at her own high school! I’m giving this 2.5* but rounded up to 3 on Goodreads – if you like fast paced cute fluffy contemporaries that also deal with diversity and mental health – this one would be for you!