Casting Queen: Waiting for Callback by Perdita Cargill and Honor Cargill

Waiting for Callback by Perdita Cargill and Honor Cargill

A light-hearted and entertaining read, packed with both funny and cringe-worthy moments. Recommended for teenage girls.

When she’s signed up by an acting agent, 15 year-old Elektra immediately dreams of stardom. However, she soon discovers it’s less Hollywood glamour and more embarrassing auditions and constantly waiting for callback. Despite this, Elektra remains determined to succeed even if it’s increasingly difficult to cope with rejection alongside the day-to-day dramas of teen life.

This book has one of the best openings I’ve read recently: I’m dressed as a spider, waiting to go onstage to impersonate a carrot. It could be worse: I could be dressed as a carrot, waiting to go on to impersonate a carrot. That would be even more humiliating… This immediately sets the tone for what is a light-hearted and entertaining read, packed with both funny and cringe-worthy moments.

I lost track of the number of times I laughed out loud. For example, the moment when they’re all asked to share a secret about themselves at the all-important audition and Elektra’s so nervous she blurts out that her left boob is at least one inch smaller than her right. I also loved the way Mum becomes completely irrational whenever Elektra is late or doesn’t answer her phone: as Elektra explains when she said she’d almost called the police, that wasn’t just parental hyperbole, it was fact. She’d phoned them before. I probably had a file.

The plot isn’t particularly original. For example, when Elektra argues with her best friend we know they’ll eventually make up and – despite her ongoing boy troubles – we also know everything will turn out right in the end. However, this doesn’t matter. This story isn’t about the overarching plot: it’s about the experiences along the way and there are plenty here for the average teenage girl to both enjoy and equate to.

Written by a mother and daughter duo, it’s perhaps hardly surprising that the two strongest characters in the book are 15 year-old Elektra and her long-suffering, slightly neurotic, mum. In fact, for me, the relationship between these two is what lifts this book above others of the genre.

One of the authors told me on twitter that they were aiming to write the type of book that readers would take away and enjoy on holiday and they’ve certainly succeeded. However, the book is too good to be consigned purely as a holiday read and I’m confident teenage girls across the country will quickly become fans. I suspect they may struggle to wait for the next instalment, due for publication in January 2017.

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Geek Girl by Holly Smale or Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

ISBN: 978-1471144837
Date: January 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352
Author’s Website: Honor and Perdita Cargill
Review first published on The Bookbag

Spread the love