“I want big-time, bright-lights, major, mondo success. I want to be one of those people you see at awards shows, the ones who win so many Grammys and Moonmen and nobody’s even jealous because it’s obvious they were so much better…I reach for the cards…” – From the book
The second book from the In the Cards series—Fame—deals with Eve Baylor’s burning desire to become famous. Although she partly wants to consult the Tarot cards Mrs. Rosemont left to her friend Anna, Eve feels apprehensive about inquiring about future fame. What if the cards tell her she’ll always be a loser…a nobody? What if she misinterprets the cards and sabotages her destiny of stardom?
When Mr. Courtney, the theater teacher at her school, decides to put on a production of Cabaret, Eve has mixed feelings. But when she finds out that Peter McElroy, the famous judge of the hit show You Suck! and father of her classmate Francesca will be there, Eve anxiously wonders if this is her chance to make it big.
Dealing with the topics of ambition, cliques, peer pressure, self worth, family dynamics and bigotry, In the Cards: Fame takes readers on a journey fraught with pre-teen angst, self-doubt, jealousy, anger and embarrassment.
Many characters from In the Cards: Love play a part in this second installment, with two of them vying for Anna’s affection! Syd, who goes to different school from Anna and Eve, is corralled in the Cabaret production. Tempers flare when egos get out of control and someone has had enough of the pettiness and cruelty during rehearsals.
Eve eventually does a Tarot reading to see if she’ll become famous, and the subsequent chapters are heralded by one card from the spread (a Tarot layout). As in the first book, In the Cards: Fame stays true to common Rider-Waite imagery and interpretation; in fact, the beginning of the book shows all ten cards laid out in a Celtic Cross spread (though the name of the spread isn’t mentioned). The author, Mariah Fredericks, doesn’t dumb down Tarot (reversed cards show up in the spread that the girls lay out), but neither does she complicate the cards.
Who will get the lead part of Sally Bowles? What of Declan Kelso…and Nelson Kobliner? Will Francesca’s “connections” get her a part….even if she might lack talent? What of Uber-Cool snob Alexa and her sycophant friend, Marnie? And what happens when Eve’s grades begin to slip…will her parents make her give up her dream?
If you enjoyed In the Cards: Love, In the Cards: Fame is even better, in my opinion. Ms. Frederick’s characters ring true, as always, and the believability factor evokes feelings ranging from sadness to frustration, indignation to jubilation. Aimed at students ages 10-14 (Grades 5-9), the In the Cards series is a fine introduction to Tarot for those intrigued by such topics, as well as an accurate depiction of what happens in schools, behind backs, and inside the heads of ‘tweens and young teens.
However, as in the first book, they are incidents of girls calling each other “cows”, mild profanity and meanness, so do keep that in mind when deciding if this series is appropriate for you or your children.
Personally, I can’t wait for the next book in this series from Ms. Fredericks—In the Cards: Life!