Allegra - YA Review by Grace KL

Reader: Grace KL
Age: 14
Title: Allegra
Author: Shelley Hrdlitschka
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 04/01/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I mostly enjoyed this book because of the strong elements of music that I identified with.  As Allegra works on the composition you can see her change as a person and become more receptive to new ideas.  I enjoyed the way the author described Allegra's composition, with flowing phrases that blended with the rest of the book.  Allegra's reactions to problems with her parents felt natural and authentic, and I enjoyed the way her success in dancing mirrored the events in her life.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable for me because it talked a lot about composing, something I am interested in but have never seen in a book.  One thing that really bothered me about this book is that dancing is supposed to be a hugely important part of Allegra's life, but we only get one nice descriptive scene of her actually doing it.  I understand that the plot didn't involve much dancing, but it would have been nice to actually see why Allegra enjoys dancing so much.
Cover: I'm not a big fan of just showing a person on the cover, but the look on Allegra's face shows how detached she is from all the people around her.  It did reflect the contents with the music notes that appear faintly all over the cover.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: When Allegra begins attending a performing arts high school, she plans to focus exclusively on dancing.  She doesn't expect to make loads of new friends because her dad plays in a popular band, and she certainly didn't plan on composing a full orchestral score with her young music theory teacher.

tags: coming of age / performing arts high school / BFYA nominee / ya lit

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