Top critical review
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I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did.
on 2 December 2012
I'm not going to let this book put me off trying Lesley DuBois's other books, which I also got for free. There are things here that make me think she's got some talent, and that it's worth giving her the benefit of the doubt, but this was disappointing.
The characterisations are a bit thin - Sonya is definitely MarySue ish in a "too good for this world" kind of way, talented, beautiful, hard done by, and she's fawned over by her gorgeous boyfriend who fell in love with her at first sight
There are also too many silly grammatical errors, sentences that don't make sense or are badly constructed, etc;
"While on the ground clutching my forehead, a pretty redheaded girl and a cute blond boy stepped out."
The same boy is described a couple of paragraphs later as "the cute, if not, lewd blond boy" - I was left scratching my head at that one. I also had to laugh at the unfortunate typo, "sugar plume faeries". I assume this was intended to read as "sugar plum fairies"...
I wasn't 100% convinced by Sonya's ballet training - it just didn't ring true.
The kids at her school who dislike her so much are also just over the top, and her sister, Sasha, blows hot and cold, being sweet and loving one minute having just told her how useless she is.
The book as a whole reads like it needs a really good edit. I can't help thinking that if the padding, unnecessary explanations etc were cut out, assuming the rest of the trilogy is similarly overwritten, the story could have been told in one really tautly written book.
It just did not capture my interest soon enough, strongly enough. It's aimed at teenagers, who may be more forgiving in some respects, but I just didn't feel like this was edited or finished to my satisfaction.
Unfortunately, though I really wanted to love this book (ballet, overcoming the odds, surviving, love, what's not to love?) it left me pretty cold and I can't see me investing in books 2 and 3. That said, there is something here that makes me want to give the author's other work a try, so it's not all bad. If I could give 2 1/2 stars I would.