I get a ton of news submissions every day, but one from a week or so ago really caught my attention. A GleeFan.com reader named Jillian emailed me, telling me that there was an unofficial Glee book out that contained “everything you need to know” about Glee. I made a mental note to check it out the next time I was at a bookstore. A few days later, I found myself killing time while browsing at Barnes and Noble, and low and behold, they actually had the exact Glee book that Jillian had told me about! Instantly, I was beyond impressed with Glee: Totally Unofficial – The Ultimate Guide to the Smash-Hit High School Musical, and it only got better from there.
The entire book reads like a magazine, while maintaining the high quality of a paperback book. Every page is a glossy print, full of bright, beautiful photos of the cast and crew. The text is an assortment of fun fonts that really tie together the whole package and make it pop. While the physical make of the book is great, what’s even better is the content.
The book is split up into five main parts. The first section is called Center Stage and it talks about the shows creation and societal trends that may explain why the show itself was so warmly accepted by the public. For me, the highlights of this chapter are getting to read what Ryan Murphy has said about his vision for Glee, taking the ‘Are you a Gleek?’ quiz, and reading about the cast’s reaction to the show’s success.
The second section is titled Casting Call, and it is the bulk of the book. It breaks down into subsections for each cast member and their respective character on Glee. These must have taken ages to write, because they feature a collection of quotes and information from many different sources while working in a ton of large, colorful photos of each cast member. To be honest, I thought I knew everything about Glee, but some of it was even new to me! However, one part that was not new to me was a quote from Amber Riley talking about how she’s a homebody who loves chillin’ at home. That quote, along with a bit about how Amber would love to use one of her own original songs on the show, came from GleeFan.com’s Exclusive Q&A with her. They even credited the Q&A at the back of the book in their bibliography. Another one of my favorite parts of this section is where they’ve collected some of the funniest quotes from each character on the show and included them in a ‘Say Anything…’ box in each actor/character’s section. They also mention their Twitter accounts and incorporate some of their favorite tweets from each cast member. They’re hilarious!
Sing, Sing a Song is the clever title for the third section of the book, all about the music industry’s effect on Glee and vice versa. This section talks about all things musical, from the OMGlee event in NYC where DJ Raymond played Glee hits all night, to how Broadway and musical theater as a whole have heavily affected Glee. They even talk about some of Glee’s most famous fans, most of which are musicians.
Of course, every good guide book needs a chapter of spoilers and speculations, and Into the Future is just that. This section serves as a roundup for all the spoilers we know about not only the back nine, but also Season 2. Additionally, it includes a list of who they think would be great guest stars in the future and why. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who wants to see Queen Latifah on the show. Make sure to check it out!
Lastly, my favorite chapter of all (you’ll see why) is Fan the Flames. This chapter is all about the Glee fandom and where you can go to find the latest Glee gossip. It talks about a long list of popular sites including EW’s The Ausiello Files and E!’s Watch with Kristin. It even mentions a Glee fansite which you can go to if you want to read the latest “news about the show and the actors who play our favorite ‘New Directions’ show choir.” Which fan site might that be? Well, GleeFan.com, of course! We’re right in between the mentions for Fox.com/Glee and PerezHilton.com. Trust me- that sure was a surprise to find as I was flipping through the pages while sitting on the floor of Barnes and Noble!
Overall, I highly recommend that you get this book. It is an absolute must have for all Glee fans. If you would like to purchase it at your local bookstore, it retails at only $15 (which is very cheap for a book that is printed on glossy pages in full color), but you can also buy it on Amazon.com for only $10!