If you’re anything like me, the two thoughts you had upon learning that Glee had a novel coming out. The first was something like “really? must they go over the top with this?” and the second was something like “what’s the good of a book anyway? the whole fun of the show is in the music!” So my immediate thought when I heard about it was that there was no chance I’d want to read it. Curiosity got the better of me though I decided to skim the first page (rather than judge a book by its cover, I usually judge it by the first page) and what I read was surprisingly interesting.
Not compelling in a “this a great emotional novel” sort of way, just interesting. The writer, Sophia Lowell (her name is hidden in the inside of the book and absent on the cover), did a good job in particular of capturing Rachel’s bizarre personality. Rachel is so inexplicable in attitude and behavior, that I think it takes a good deal of skill to balance them in a way that makes her believable. Lowell managed it.
We had an opportunity to see how the Finn-Puck-Quinn relationship came about which was a little disappointing only in so far as Quinn is a decently deep character on the show but had little depth at all in the book. Mercedes also had surprisingly bland motives when it came to her story (basically she had a crush on Kurt because he didn’t ignore her).
Most interesting was Tina, Kurt (and by that extension Mercedes), and Rachel. Basically, Tina, Kurt, Mercedes, and Artie were the sole remaining members of the Glee club and they were in trouble. Basically, though not untalented, they lacked the leadership of someone who knew arrangement not just how to sing. (They also lacked a teacher to give them guidance.) This is where Rachel came in. Kurt, realizing that Rachel could sing, invited her to join the club without consulting the others. Mercedes was upset about her loss of spotlight (and Kurt’s lack of faith in her), but this did provide Tina with the kick she needed to overcome her low self esteem.
Ultimately, the book serves as just a small view of how the club and plot lines began and though it would definitely be more interesting as an episode than written out, it was still fun enough to make the read enjoyable. (Perhaps it was just being able to imagine exactly how they would speak and act in the situations provided.)