Actor and writer Matthew Boren's impressive resume ranges from producing story arcs for All My Children to his nine-season role as Stuart in How I Met Your Mother. And his upcoming novel, Folded Notes From High School (out April 3, 2018) marks his latest piece of work — this time as author of a laugh-out-loud YA fiction and romance book.
The book is read in the form of a collection of notes exchanged between status-obsessed senior Tara Maureen Murphy and rising freshman theater star Matthew Bloom. The outrageous and manipulative Tara (think Regina George circa 1991 to 1992) has a sneaky plan to "mentor" Matt after he snagged the lead as Danny Zuko in their high school production of Grease. But when her ploy backfires and she ends up falling for the guy, her status is put at risk.
See the cover reveal of the satirical coming-of-age story and an excerpt below!
To Adam, I mean Greg, I mean Matt,
Matt. It's been such a long time since I've had to remember a Freshman's name, Pete. Ughhhhh. Sat. Cat. Matt. I will get it one of these days. I pinky promise.
Anyway, Matt . . . I thought I'd write you a folded note to welcome you to South High. My boyfriend slash your across-the-street neighbor, Christopher Caparelli, has told me lots about you. Well, I guess not lots. Just that you're named Matt (a name that's incredibly challenging to register) and that you like theater.
I hope to see you later at auditions. I'll be the girl with long blonde hair (it's, like, down to my butt 'cuz I grew it out over the Summer), and I will be singing "On My Own" from Les Miserables, and for my dance routine, well, let's just say I'll be doing a couple of splits, soooooooooo . . .
What are you gonna sing, Freshman Guy? Do you dance, too? What part do you want? Don't be bummed out if you only get chorus 'cuz it's beyond rare for a Freshman to get lead parts or even supporting. I'm gonna play Sandy. It's been a lifelong dream of mine. And there's no better way to start my Senior year than by getting one of the great roles in American theater, Derek.
Cat. Sat. Matt. Ughhh. I WILL REMEMBER YOUR NAME AT SOME POINT!!!!!!
Anyway, Matt . . . best of luck to you at auditions. Just be confident, know what I mean? Do you? Do you know what I mean?
Tara Maureen Murphy
Thanks for writing me a note. Pretty awesome to get one from a Senior. Chris is an awesome guy. He even drove me to school this morning. That was pretty awesome because most of my friends took the bus except for people with older siblings at South. My brother is at Syracuse University this year, otherwise he would have driven me. Did you ever meet my brother? David Bloom? Heather Gould offered me a ride to school, too, but she makes everyone pay gas money, and when she misses a green light she says, "Shoulda-woulda-coulda," and when she sees a car with a headlight out she says, "Padiddle." So I said no.
I'm gonna sing "Dogs in the Yard" today. It's from the musical Fame. And yeah, I dance. I think I'm just gonna make up a dance routine when I get up there. I really want to play Danny Zuko. So, we'll see what happens.
How do you fold your notes like an envelope? That's pretty awesome.
Hey Mark (Sat, Cat . . . Matt)—hey Matt,
You say "pretty awesome" a lot. That's cute. Very Freshman-y. You'll learn more expressions now that you're at South. Just don't say MINT CONDITION. It's overused by average people. And whatever you do, never say KHED instead of KID. People around here think it's cool, but I've gotta tell you, it's not.
Danny Zuko?!!!!! That's the lead, Matt. You're in 9th grade. I mean, good luck and junk, but I've gotta be older-sister-ish and tell you that it's very impossible to beat out Ari Levy or Joel Waldman. I mean, those guys are Seniors, and they're majorly talented. But good for you for tryin'. I always say, "Aim for the moon," 'cuz in case you miss you'll be hangin' among the stars. Know what I mean? Do you? Do you know what I mean, Young Person?
Look at you askin' me how I fold my notes! Ever seen Mystic Pizza, Matt? If you haven't, you should. It's about a really hot girl and her weird friend and homely sister. The hot girl wants to get the hell outta her small town. She deserves to get out and live a better life. Anyway, she works at a pizza joint, and the fat woman who runs the joint makes the best pizza but she won't tell anyone what's in the pizza. Not even the hot girl. Well, Matt. You probably think I'm the hot girl in this analogy, but guess what? I'm actually the fat woman with the top-secret pizza recipe. And double guess what? My folding is top secret, too.
I HATE HEATHER GOULD! I am so proud, in an older-sister way, that you turned down her offer to drive you to school. She's in marching band, Matt (which is a very hard thing to get into and very, veeery good for college transcripts), but she doesn't even play any instruments, she just twirls a baton! But because she's the baton twirler she's in the front row, so everyone sees her first at football games, so she thinks she's the best. And she always talks about marching band, but it's like, "Heather, you just throw a dumb stick around, you're not friggin' Mozart!"
And oh my god . . . she did a video presentation for Ms. Feeno's Spanish class last year where she played two characters (a Spanish-speaking Robin Leach and a Spanish-speaking Madonna, 'cuz in her video presentation Robin Leach was interviewing Madonna at one of her "mansions" for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous), and she filmed it in her basement and by her aboveground pool and tried to pass it off as a mansion, not to mention it should be illegal for non-actresses slash baton twirlers who pretend to be in the marching band to play Madonna in ANYTHING! Have some friggin' respect. You gotta be someone with years of experience and natural chops to take on Madonna. So few of us can pull that off, do you know what I mean? I know you're fresh outta middle school and stuff, but do you know what I mean? Stay away from Heather Gould! K?
See ya at auditions. And you'll be so great in the chorus.
Tara Maureen Murphy