Part of a series? No.
Category: They are in high school, but I think it can be considered New Adult or upper YA.
Genre: Contemporary with a touch of romance and layers of drama.
When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.
Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.
But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.
At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.
When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
On Netgalley I saw this book the other day and when I saw that it was a sort of mix of Save the Last Dance and other things, the teenager in me needed to read this book asap. While some emotions are quite well conveyed, the overall execution is lacking for my taste.
The writing style is pretty neat, almost too much at times. I couldn’t feel the angst fully and yet Natalya’s life wasn’t easy or the kind of life a teenager should be living. She was going through a lot and while I understand that she’s very closed off and doesn’t want to show how hurt she was, I think I should have been able to feel it as the reader. I mean, this book is told from her POV so we have an access to everything that is going on inside of her.
Also, I preferred Becca and James to Natalya and Tonio. Some would say their chemistry is undeniable, but somehow I wasn’t entirely buying it most of the time, but it didn’t bother me all that much because this story is more than just a romance.
I enjoyed the way the author described Natalya’s mother and the way she let us see how broken she was. Of course, I’d have loved if some big parts wouldn’t have been left in the dark for us to imagine. Some things are left unsaid or not really ended. At least, it leaves me with the feeling that things could have been even more delved into, more developed. Am I asking for too much? Maybe, but when the story is broaching these types of topics, I’m asking for a lot because I’m expecting to be moved beyond words.
Also, too many things from Tonio’s life, from his personality are left in the dark to the point of which I couldn’t understand him or feel for him and his family.
I’m not going to go on and on because I think you can see my drift. I think this story could have been perfect if more things would have been showed instead of just told and if the author would have delved as deeply in her characters’ head as it was possible. Then, it’d have been an undeniable 5 stars read for me.
What do you think of Tonio? And this book?