For fans of Glee, this prequel is a lot of fun. It is a bit of a bummer without the music, but I still really enjoyed it. There was enough drama and dialogue to keep my interest. Mr. Schu is not in the picture yet as Kurt, Mercedes, Artie and Tina enlist Rachel’s help to improve the Glee Club. They have a recital planned and are scared to death they will make fools of themselves. Rachel uses the morning announcements to give herself a higher profile, singing and bravely challenging the Cheerrios and encoring their wrath. The Cheerios act of revenge almost destroys Glee. We get to see an even nastier side of Quinn and Santana. We get the back story of Quinn and Puck and Rachel’s crush on Finn starts to flare. It is fun to see the friendships begin to blossom between Artie, Mercedes, Kurt, Tina and Rachel.
Here is my one big beef: The author tries to make the setting seem like authentic Lima, Ohio (my birthplace.) The reference to Puck beating up a kid wearing a Michigan t-shirt made sense. But then they refered to Wegmans grocery store, which does not exist in Lima, let alone anywhere in Ohio. This is always my problem with books, TV shows, movies that are set in Ohio, but the writer has no idea of what is in Ohio. Does anyone remember Family Ties when they refered German Village to German Town? Ugh!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
How does the book differ from the TV show?
The Glee Club is the bottom rung on the social ladder. Talk about the social ladder at your school.
Talk about Quinn’s feelings for Puck vs. her feelings for Finn. What makes “bad boys” appealing? What makes “innocent girls” appealing to “bad boys?”
In this book, Mr. Schu seems a little bored with teaching. Compare him with the Mr. Schu you know from the show.
Talk about the prank the Cheerios pulled on the Glee kids with the fog machine. Could that really happen in your high school?
Talk about how mean the Cheerios are. Are the girls at their school really that mean? Are the Cheerios an accurate portrayal of the popular kids?
Talk about which Glee character they feel they are most like. Who would they want to be like?