A teenage boy is on an undercover mission to make his online crush fall for him in real life in this warmhearted and funny contemporary YA novel.
Self-described "gaymer" Noah Mitchell is in love with his best friend. Just one problem: Noah only knows his friend by his online username, MagePants69. The blond 17-year-old has been playing video games with MagePants69 for over a year and they have shared everything except their true identities. Noah, who is "one hundred percent sure MagePants69 and [he] are destined to be together," will do anything to meet his crush in person--even joining a local production of Chicago he suspects MagePants69 may be in. Noah's scheme succeeds even though he has no experience singing, dancing or acting, and carpools to rehearsal with his mom, who is cast in a lead role. Noah discovers that his "beautiful ginger" castmate, Eli, is MagePants69 and he devises a plan. "STEP 1: Get Eli to fall in love with me.... STEP 2: Tell him the truth about my identity." But coming clean isn't as simple as Noah thought it would be.
Author Tobias Madden (Anything but Fine) celebrates the theater as a place where misfits can find community, be they skeptics like Noah or devoted theater kids like Eli. "Skinny, pimply, nerdy, awkward, snarky" Noah's loneliness and self-deprecating humor make him a sympathetic protagonist even as his lies lead him into fraught situations. Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell earns a standing ovation. --Alanna Felton, freelance reviewer