Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad: A fun, quick read, 17 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Queen Bee of Bridgeton (Dancing Dream #1) (Kindle Edition)
This book was a free Kindle download, and I read it over the course of a couple of days. I would describe it as a high school drama with a lot of romance and a bit of comedy thrown in. It deals with some deeper concepts, such as the difficulties faced by a teenage couple pursuing and maintaining a cross-cultural romance. Also, parents may wish to note that there are sexual references scattered throughout the novel, and scenes of sexual activity. There are no plot spoilers in this review, although by necessity I've had to disclose some elements of the plotline and characterisation.

Some things didn't make any sense to me. The protagonist, Sonya, looks almost identical to her beautiful and popular sister Sasha, yet the reader is expected to believe that Sonya is invisible at school, and has no friends at all there. The two sisters have lunch together every day and Sonya is often mistaken for Sasha by Sasha's friends. Someone like Sonya would have attracted some hangers-on, at the very least, or those using her to try to get close to Sasha.

Although ballet is a major part of Sonya's life, the other students in her ballet class are given only cursory mentions. I find it hard to believe that having attended from a young age, she hasn't made a single friend in that class in all those years.

The school's powerful clique, the "Bitch Brigade" was absurd and over the top, to the extent that it wasn't believable at all. Sure, I can believe in the idea of a powerful clique running the school from the shadows, but calling itself the "Bitch Brigade" was so childish for a group of seventeen/eighteen year old girls. The author doesn't seem to be aware that rich, privileged, bitchy high school girls rarely ever think of themselves as bitches. They think they are great and perfect, and the world revolves around them. Calling themselves bitches is the same as acknowledging they are in the wrong. With their money, power and influence, these kinds of girls behave this way because they believe they are above reproach.

The school's kangaroo court system was also entirely unrealistic. It reminded me of many manga series I've read - the type where the student council has more power than the almost non-existent adult faculty members.

It wasn't all bad, though. I really liked Will's character. His backstory and personality quirks made him well-rounded and gave him depth. Some of his actions though just seemed silly and inconsistent with a teenage boy's behaviour. His flowery, romantic speeches in particular made me cringe.

One major complaint with this novel is that Sonya is too perfect, almost bordering on Mary Sue levels of flawlessness. She's beautiful, kind, a fabulous dancer, and gains a gorgeous boyfriend who falls in love with her at first sight. Its seems she can do no wrong. Later on in the novel, another male character earnestly tells Sonya how perfect and worshipful she is (not in those exact words, but you get what I mean). My gag reflex went into overdrive at the point when he informed her that she's too pure and perfect for the ghetto.

Overall however, the novel was well-written, engaging, and funny. The conclusion was rather satisfying, although I guessed the identity of the main antagonist very early on. This is not a bad read, and is entertaining if you have a few spare hours and want to read something light, frothy and not challenging.

Would I read it again? No
Would I buy it? No
Would I read the sequel? No
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