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Ambitious (Premiere High #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
There's only one thing tougher than getting in to Premiere High: Staying in…

At Premiere School of the Performing Arts, nicknamed Premiere High, talent is a must and competition is fierce. But the payoff is worth it. Some of the biggest stars in music, movies and dance are on the alumni list. New student Marisol Garcia dreams of taking her place among them one day. And bein
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Harlequin Kimani
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(showing 1-30 of 225)
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Ellen Sara
This book dealt brought up a lot of teen issues. It talks about body image, gangs, smoking etc. It also has the POV of our heroine Mari and her possible love interest Drew. They each have decided to enroll in an artistic school. The book talks about what they gain but also give up by choosing that school. I can see how this will make a great series. There are plenty of characters for each book to focus on. I'm not from New York so I enjoyed reading about the city. I really liked how protective M ...more
Paula  Phillips
Oct 23, 2011 Paula Phillips rated it really liked it
As a fan of all those Dancing Flicks, the ones where they audition and then they don't get in and then along the way something happens and they are given a second shot and make it . I love them from Step Up trilogy to Centre Stage Duo to Make it Happen and Burlesque. Ambitious read a bit between Britannia High, Step Up and Fame. In Ambitious we meet Mari aka Marisol, her passion since she could remember was dancing her Mexican-American butt off , she lives for it and when she's offered the chanc ...more
Elizabeth B
Aug 09, 2011 Elizabeth B rated it it was ok
This was a really, really hard book to read. From the very first the short, clipped sentences began to annoy. I think they are meant to be the random way in which a teen thinks but it was so stilted and unforgiving that I almost considered not continuing. The dialogue was very hit or miss as well. There seemed to be no flow to it and none of the characters ever gained their own distinctive voice through the novel. The repetitive “Premiere High” was almost too much to bear…any time the school was ...more
Oct 08, 2011 Bookworm1858 rated it liked it
New students Marisol and Drew negotiate the ambitious waters at Premiere School, following their respective artistic passions of dance and acting, making new friends, navigating academics, and flirting with each other. I loved the concept for this as I'm a sucker for "Step Up," "Center Stage," and other dance movies. But I was not very impressed with the book as a whole finding it lacking in plot and characters.

Marisol is a decent character. Her dream is to dance and she pursues that dream by au
Oct 11, 2011 Kris rated it did not like it
Ambitious just wasn’t the book for me. The idea was nice: I like how the novel features ethnic variety in the two narrators, Mari being a poor Latina dancer and Drew being a wealthy African American, and I like the premise behind the novel. However, it wasn't developed well enough for me. The characters are superficial and stereotypical, and the entire plot is too generalized and overly predictable as a whole.

I like to see characters struggle. While Mari and Drew, the two narrators, do have prob
Aug 12, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
Ambitious by Monica McKayhan follows Marisol a latina dancer from a rough neighborhood and Drew a wealthy African American boy who have just started attending a Premiere, a performing arts high school. Marisol and Drew both have to navigate this new world and deal with families and friends who do not understand why they gave up their normal lives and schools to attend Premiere.

This book was written specifically for reluctant readers and because of this it may not appeal to the general audience.
Melanie Goodman
Mari (short for Marisol) achieves her dream of getting into the dance program at Premiere High School, a special school for performing arts, but quickly discovers that she won’t be able to rest on her laurels. It will take a lot of hard work to stay at Premiere, and even more work to win a dance competition that would land her a role in a movie. Still, all of that is nothing compared to how hard she’ll have to fight to win over her parents’ and old friends’ support as she pursues her passion.

Aug 21, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-releases
Girl gets accepted to a massively competitive performing arts high school and soon proves herself one of the best dancers in the school...and gets the hottest and most talented guy in her class.

Wait...that's not how it works, is it?

In Ambitious, it definitely works that way. Marisol is accepted both to Premiere High School of Performing Arts AND the top dance class in the school despite any formal dance training. A free class the previous summer seems to be Marisol's only actual dance instructi
Jennifer Ellision
Full review posted here:

I really liked the premise of this book. I’m a sucker for the movies that this book pretty much emulates.

Marisol and Drew are both likable characters (though Drew suffers a major case of HORMONES and seems to like every girl he meets).I liked that the two of them are classic teenagers: yes, they have some attraction to the other, but it doesn’t blind them to their own lives or to other members of the opposite sex. The conflicts tha
Aug 24, 2013 Rabiah rated it liked it
Originally Posted at:

This took me a while to get to, as the reading pile has expanded hugely, but surprisingly, it's not a very long read. It only took me around a day to complete it. I liked the story line and the characters well enough, but it was a book that didn't really WOW me. Unlike most books about the fine arts, this didn't really show the difficulty and struggles of dance, acting and music. Sure, they touched upon some points, but nothing too mu
Aug 31, 2011 Clementine rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ya, 2011
Marisol Garcia dreams of becoming a famous dancer. Her ticket to stardom is entry into the Premiere School of the Performing Arts, aka Premiere High. She gets in and pretty soon is also entered into a local dance contest which boasts a film role as a prize. As Marisol struggles to balance school, dance, and family, she also struggles to figure out why Drew Bishop is so reluctant to be more than her friend. Drew’s got his own problems, though: he’s a star basketball player who also loves to act. ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Isamlq rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc-galley
Ambitious did nothing for me on any level. The characters lacked a depth to have me caring about the outcome of their story. My reading experience went along the lines of 'Yeah? So what?'

As said, the characters lacked a depth to them. Mari has her dancing. She's been admitted to a prestigious Arts school. There's nothing really that she has to beat... there's no big drama in her life except that is to win a big dance competition. 'And so what?,' I asked. I really didn't care about her.

Maybe th
Oct 10, 2011 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't dislike this book, but I guess it wasn't meant for me as I prefer a little more depth in my stories. The characters are supposed to be teenagers but are childish and stereotyped when they are not boring as they are one-dimensional. I don't understand why McKayhan chose to use an alternate narration between Marisol and Drew as they don't bring much to the dynamic of the story, which is to smooth. I was expecting something more thrilling, vivid like a literary version of Fame, but it's ju ...more
Oct 07, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
I really enjoyed this! It was a quick, cute story.
Jan 16, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Read if you like so you think you can dance.
Harlequin Books
Miniseries: A Premiere High Novel
Nov 23, 2011 Elsa rated it it was ok
Shelves: qp-2012
It's ok.
Sidney Koepp
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JaCara Fuller rated it it was amazing
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Monica McKayhan started writing when she was twelve years old, always dreaming of becoming a published author. Finally her dream came true when her fi rst novel, As Real As It Gets, was published in January 2005. Since then Monica has written several adult and young adult novels.

She attended public schools in Kansas City, Kansas, where she played basketball, was a member of the pep squad and was o
More about Monica McKayhan...

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