Exit Stage Left

by William Pasnak

Reviewed by Coral

Based on the popular Canadian TV series, Degrassi Junior High, this book is supposed to be set between seasons 1 and 2, which represent the before and after Christmas terms of the students in Grades 7 and 8. As the students prepare to put on a school play, LD is faced with losing her dad, and Stephanie tries to lay claim to Wheels once and for all.

This is probably the type of book that's only interesting to read if you love the series. I happen to love the series but, being the nitpicky person that I am, was annoyed by all the continuity errors between the book and the series. The book was probably published before season 2 came out, so I suppose I can forgive the book for not knowing about all the cast changes and stuff (characters moving away, and a few newer students arriving). What annoyed me the most was that the author knew that Yick came from Vietnam, because he has Yick say it in one of the earlier chapters, but then persists on calling him Chinese for the rest of the book. They're two different nationalities, you can't just mix them up like that.

There were a couple of interesting plot points that kind of got skimmed over or just dropped altogether. I know there wasn't a lot of space to deal with everything, but more could have been done. I mean, what was up with Yick's locker? And Joey, who is afraid his friends see him as nothing as a jerk, which they then kind of prove true to him, and it all gets glossed over with one apology? And where was Spike? Her pregnancy was the biggest storyline of the series, and she didn't even rate a mention.

It was sort of disappointing that other than Arthur and Yick none of the other Grade 7s had much of a part in the story. Also, it was sort of weird that the two "couples" that emerge in this book were ones never even hinted at in the five year run of the show.

Add to all of that a few grammatical mistakes, like missing or extra quotation marks, and bad indenting.

Oh well, all in all, a pretty harmless book. Much like the show, only not as interesting.

Grade: C