Author: Shelley Hrdlitschka
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 04/01/13
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I found this book to be pretty flat in most respects. The character was really hard to like or relate to. The plot was mildly interesting, but it needed more work. The one part I really liked about it was the description of the music and the way the main character felt when she was playing or dancing. I felt that was realistic, and it was the best writing in the book.
Memorable or Forgettable: What was memorable for me, but not necessarily in a good way, was the character of Allegra. She clearly had some serious issues that she was working out, as her family was falling apart and she didn't fit in at her new school. However, I felt like she also had some deeper problems that were never discussed. She lived completely in her head, and had a really really hard time making friends. It sounded like she was maybe dealing with some anxiety. This was never addressed or resolved in the book, and this made me skeptical about what the book was trying to say. At the end of the book, she 'solved' all of her problems by pushing them down and not talking about them, which is not a healthy attitude and makes me hope that people reading the book who are dealing with the same things don't copy her way of coping.
Cover: The cover is really generic. The music notes were a nice touch, but I wish it could have been a bit more creative.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Annotation: Allegra is turning over a new leaf. She's beginning a year at a performing arts school and determined to take as many dance classes as possible. But the year becomes harder than she expected. Her family might be falling apart and she just might be in love with her music theory teacher.
tags: coming of age / performing arts high school / BFYA nominee / ya lit