Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle is a lighthearted story about one crazy day in New York City.
For Nate, life in the Pittsburg suburbs is sheer misery -- he's a theatre-loving thirteen-year-old in a sports-obsessed area. He's fortunate enough to have Libby, a best friend, who loves musicals as much as he does. When she hears about open auditions for an upcoming Broadway show, she hatches a plan to get Nate to New York City for a day so he can try out. Of course, the plan is complicated and relies on several factors over which Nate and Libby have no control, so something is bound to go wrong . . . not to mention that Nate has no real stage experience, or any idea what to expect at a Broadway audition. The big city is a real eye-opener for a kid who thinks that Applebees is the height of haute cuisine. As Nate wanders haplessly through New York City, readers will be on the edge of their seats: Will Nate make it to the audition and live to tell the tale?
This is a really fun light read, recommended for fans of broadway musicals. It touches on some deeper issues in Nate's life, but in a lighthearted and humorous way, and none of the really terrible things that could happen to a kid on his own in a big city actually happen. I'd recommend this, especially if you love Broadway and/or NYC.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)