Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell by Tobias Madden
Out now from Page Street Kids
Anything But Fine, Madden’s 2022 debut novel, immediately put him on my radar of authors I would be following closely. I was so enchanted by that book that I was ready to devour anything else he wrote. A year later, he has given us Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell, a story about a teenaged gaymer who gets caught up in a teeny-tiny lie and ends up mopping up the aftermath when it backfires on him.
Now, I normally cringe when I read a book that involves a Big Lie and its inevitable consequences. I mean, really cringe. Like, DNF or one star cringe. Because they always seem contrived and unrealistic. But Madden writes Noah in such an authentic way. He just gets teenagers. He understands how their minds work. He knows their insecurities, their underdeveloped decision making skills. He is adept at portraying the politics of high school, the unwritten caste system, the power dynamics between students. As someone who worked with high schoolers for fourteen years, I say bravo.
So that is just a long-winded way of saying that the Big Lie in Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell rings heartbreakingly true. It’s the lie told by a young man who feels alone, having lost all of his IRL friends due to an incident that occurred three years prior which taught him that telling the truth is not always a good thing. The only real friend he has left is his online gaming partner, known only as MagePants69. Could he possibly be the guy in the same local production of Chicago that Noah’s mother is in? Let The Plan begin…
Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell is a sweet gay YA rom-com that will make your heart ache and your stomach flutter with all of the feels. It’s also not shy about taking on more serious issues than just a teen boy crush. In the end, it’s a story of finding yourself, finding your tribe, challenging your comfort zone, and being your authentic self. Five big gaming, musical theatre nerd stars!
Thank you to Pride Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.