Book Review: Glee:The Beginning by Sophia Lowell

CALLING ALL GLEEKS! Get more of your favourite characters in this official Glee prequel!

All great performances deserve a warm-up! Enroll early at McKinley High to find out what went on before New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr Schuester’s eye. When did Rachel first decide Finn was more than just a jock? When did Puck and Quinn start their secret romance? And how did the fledgling Glee Club function without a fearless leader? Hint: It wasn’t exactly a perfect melody. 

Break out the gold stars and refill the slushies: it’s time to find out what happened to all your favourite characters before the show-mance began
These novels contain additional storylines to those featured in the hit TV show. (From
So first off let’s get one thing straight, despite arriving late to the Glee fever that hit the world earlier this year I LOVE Glee. We own the first DVD of season one (and hopefully DVD 2 once it’s released on the 13th September) and it’s worn out from being played…because even my daughter can’t get enough. So I was excited to start reading this novel, set before the TV show.
I was also a little concerned. The characters are so huge and strong in Glee…would a written adaptation pull this off and do them justice? Well surprisingly the answer is YES. Reading this novel is like watching an episode in some respects. The author gets the characters voices and mannerism absolutely spot on, so much so I could clearly hear them as I read. Rachel Berry in particular springs off the pages, Quinn Fabray’s cutting put downs and evil glares are vividly brought to life and Sue Sylvester is just as hilarious in the book as she is on screen. Even minor character Jacob is kept true and every line I read from him I could absolutely see him saying.
It was interesting to see how some of the story lines in Glee may have come about, especially the relationships between Rachel, Finn, Quinn and Puck. To be honest though I’m not sure if the book would make a whole lot of sense to someone who hadn’t seen Glee the TV show. Part of the charm of this book was seeing the relationships we already know about and how they developed. While a lot of the book revolves around Rachel, the story flits between all of the main characters and in a book of just 230 pages it doesn’t give the reader much opportunity to get to know them. I did feel that maybe just focusing on one would have been better. The author does provide some background but I can’t see anyone without prior knowledge of the show really getting that much from the book.

Overall I thought Glee: The Beginning was a fun, quick and enjoyable read. It’s well written and Sophia Lowell does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. There are one or two inconsistencies but I wasn’t expecting much from a book based on a T.V show and was very pleasantly surprised by this one. If you haven’t watched any of the TV series (then you definitely should!) this book probably isn’t the best place to start. However if you’re a fan then I’d recommend this as a must read to compliment the show. 

Thanks to Headline for providing me with this review copy.

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