GLEE: THE BEGINNING by Sophia Lowell [Review]


For us Gleeks, it’s been a long summer without our favorite show (reruns only go so far), so I was super excited to read the Glee prequel novel. It promised to give us details about the glee club kids before “New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr. Schuester’s eye.” So did it deliver? Not so much.

In Glee: The Beginning, the kids are just starting the sophomore year and we find them pretty much how they were in the pilot episode of Glee. Rachel is neurotic and bossy, Finn is a dumb jock, and the Cheerios are the mean girls who rule the school. Glee club is operating under the direction of an MIA Sandy Ryerson and the only members are: Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, and Artie. The group is pretty pathetic until Rachel joins and attempts to whip them into shape.

If it’s new information you want, there’s not much to find here. We’re given a new detail or two about Rachel’s dads, but that’s pretty much it. It mostly just rehashes things we already knew—Rachel is abrasive, Quinn is queen of the school, and Finn and Puck are both really into her—rather than offer any new information.

It’s also hard for a show whose success is based on its music to translate as a book. The book just lacked that certain something that the show has (the author tried to recreate the feel of the show by endlessly describing everyone’s outfits ad nauseam). Of course, it didn’t help that the book felt like a sanitized, G-rated version of Glee. Maybe they felt like they had to tone it down because it’s a YA book? In that case, I’m probably just not in the intended audience.

I hate to be so harsh on Glee: The Beginning because I’m a huge fan of the show and I think a prequel novel was a cool idea. But I have to look out for my fellow Gleeks and advise them to save their hard earned money and check this one out of the library.

Quotes from Glee: The Beginning:

Quinn: “Maybe if you didn’t spend so much on your librarian-meets-preschooler ensembles, you might be able to buy yourself enough votes to win. And then you could shut up.”

Mercedes: “Who died and made you Simon Cowell?”

Sue Sylvester: “Come on, Brit. You’re looking geriatric today. I’ve got soiled delicates that are fresher than your moves. All right, none of you have earned a break, but if I don’t give you all one, Social Services will come knocking again, and I don’t need to be subjected to any more Kmart pantsuits. Take five.”

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Poppy | Pages: 224 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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