Friday, November 9, 2012

Review and G!ve@way: Phantom by Laura DeLuca

Title: Phantom
Author: Laura DeLuca
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Publish Date: March 30, 2012

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You are a YA fiction fan.
  • You don't mind a little darkness.
What's the Story?:

From "The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed."

My Two Cents:

I was very excited to read this book based on the fact that it is based off of one of my favorite musicals, Phantom of the Opera. In a way, this book is sort of a retelling of both the book and the musical in a high school setting. What makes it different from a straight retelling is that the characters in the book are actually putting on a high school version of the musical so there are really two retellings going on at the same time, which I loved.

Fear not if you are not familiar with the story of Phantom (but you should be; both the book and musical are amazing). You will be able to pick up on the story rather quickly by reading this book. I love retellings of stories that I'm familiar with. It makes old stories new again. DeLuca does a fantastic job of weaving detail from the musical and the book into both the love triangle story of Becca, Justyn, and Tom as well as the real life Phantom who seems to be haunting the school.

I have a couple criticisms. First off, there are a lot of "quotes" from the musical that are not quotes at all. As the Phantom only came out as a musical in the 1980s, I am assuming that all of the rights to the lyrics still belong to Mr. Andrew Lloyd Webber and therefore could not be used in the book. I get that but being someone that has a huge chunk of the lyrics from Phantom memorized, it did bother me a little bit. I almost wish that they had been left out. However, this is something that you are never going to notice unless you really, really like the musical like I do. Second, the big twist got a little strange and violent for me. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is a pretty violent book in some places (so is the musical for that matter). Some of the ending may not be for those that are easily turned off by violence or for younger YA readers.

There is a huge twist in this book, which I totally did not see coming (you can't get it out of me; my lips are sealed). I love when a book can surprise me and this twist shocked me. Make sure you cut out a good chunk of time to read about the last third of the book in one fell swoop. You are going to need it as you will not be able to put the book down until you finish the entire book.

Bottom line: A good retelling of a beloved love story!


The lovely author is allowing me to giveaway a signed copy of the book, some incense, and a geode (once you read the book, you will see the symbolism of the geode) to one lucky winner!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the Phantom! I definitely have to read this one! I love so much historical fiction, it is hard to pick a favorite, but my latest favorite is 'The Shoemaker's Wife' by Adriana Trigiani'.

  2. How interesting! I loved the recent film adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera," though I guess that was... oh, a number of years ago now. Still, sounds like a fun read!

  3. Too bad there wasn't proper attribution or permission to reprint from Weber. I've seen the movie in bits and pieces.

  4. I am a huge fan of Phantom, but I think my favorite musical is Rent.

  5. Awesome review, my daughter is a singer and she sings all of the songs from Phantom, so she would notice..but you a right only a Phantom junkie would know, glad you liked this one.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing my book on your blog! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I would have loved to use the real lyrics by ALW, but due to copyright issues I wasn't able to. Most people haven't noticed though. I have actually had reviewers who thought they WERE the real lyrics. LOL

  7. Phantom is my favorite. Wonderful songs, set and memorable.

  8. This sounds really compelling---great review too!

  9. Phantom of the Opera is my favorite. Absolutely wonderful!

  10. ive seen phantom and i was surprised at how much i liked it. didnt think i liked musicals.

  11. My favorite musical is The Wizard of Oz.

  12. My favorite musical is actually Phantom of the Opera! I have the movie, the soundtrack and have seen the Broadway show! Front row center baby!
    mosaic317 at gmail dot com
    Claire McKeon

  13. I typically don't like musicals, but the songs in Phantom of the Opera win it for me. Lieutcrunch27 (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Great review, thank you! This post has stirred my interest in not only this book, but the musical, too! Speaking of YA, I've really enjoyed your other YA recs -- I loved The Green by Karly Kirkpatrick, which you reviewed a few months ago. (All your reviews are great and I've checked out several books from other genres you've reviewed; just wanted to pinpoint YA in particular since this is a YA post.) Keep up the wonderful work. :)

  15. I Love Phantom of the Opera ever since I was a little girl.

  16. I saw it on Broadway and it was amazing.


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