By Grier CooperBlurb: For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.
But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
My Rating: 4 stars
I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I jumped at the chance to read this because...ballet. I love ballet; I've been in classes since I was three. So a book about ballet would be combining my two favorite hobbies, and what could go wrong with that?
Not much, it seems, because this was a pretty darn good book. And the author definitely knows what she's doing when it comes to ballet; it feels authentic.
First, there is Indigo. Not only was she an awesome main character in general, she also inspired me, in more ways than one. The more obvious reason is that she had to live with a dysfunctional family, but she still managed to perform to the best of her ability. Sure, it did sometimes affect her (if she didn't this book would lose its believablity!), but overall, she was able to overcome that and eventually help put back the pieces in her home. Secondly, I loved her hard work. She really puts her all into being the best she can be. And that was something I truly admired.
The other character I liked was Miss Roberta, Indigo's dance teacher. I know that she is a bit of an odd character to single out, but I loved her advice and her and Indigo's relationship. Her interactions with Indigo's mom were a huge part of why I liked her.
The story was really good. It is not always pretty. It paints alcoholism in a very realistic way. Indigo's mom is out of control. It is somewhat depressing to read about at times. But it doesn't feel overdramatized--which is something considering there are a lot of moments in this book that have the potential to feel that way.
The flipside of the story deals with Indigo's ballet. Well, obviously I loved this! I loved the dance classes, the practices, everything. I was nearly as nervous as Indigo was during her audition.
I suppose I probably should talk about the romance part. That wasn't the reason I read the book--it almost never is--and it was not my favorite part of the book, but I do appreciate how realistic the author kept it. Jesse also wasn't made out to be Indigo's soulmate, something that happens way too often in YA, and I liked that as well.
All together, this was a great story. I haven't read a lot of ballet books in YA, but this is definitely at the top of that short list. It's worth checking out.