This is a great book about finding--and fighting to do--something you love, despite the obstacles. Jenny's crippling shyness would make a career likeThis is a great book about finding--and fighting to do--something you love, despite the obstacles. Jenny's crippling shyness would make a career like ballet seem out of the question, but she doesn't let it stop her, practicing in secret instead and, for the first time, acting against her parents' wishes. Her unlikely friendship with the bubbly, outgoing Ara works beautifully. I love how "friendship" in this book goes beyond two people with shared interests enjoying each other's company. Ara and Jenny's opposite personalities actually complement each other and help bring the girls closer together. Ara gives Jenny that extra boost she needs when she's about to give up on dancing altogether, and Jenny helps pull Ara back down to earth when she gets a bit too carried away. Neither changes the other, but they each become a better person for it.
Another aspect I loved about Dancing on the Inside was the glimpse it provided into the behind the scenes life of ballet. The information didn't feel overwhelming, nor did it interrupt the flow of the story, but it gave me enough to form a vibrant picture. The book sends an encouraging message to anyone aspiring in the arts. In spite of Jenny's ongoing fear of being seen dancing, she manages to find a creative solution to do what she really loves.
My thanks to First Reads and to the author, Glen C. Strathy, for providing me with this copy! I would recommend this for preteens or even young adults. The wording's simple enough for a young audience, but I (a nineteen-year-old) didn't feel like it was talking down to me, and the storyline held my attention. If you're interested in reading other books about dance and haven't already read these, I'd highly recommend Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, and Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild....more
I think every once in a while I am really in need of a book I can squeal over while exclaiming repeatedly "Eeep! Thisbookissogood!!!" I'm glad to sayI think every once in a while I am really in need of a book I can squeal over while exclaiming repeatedly "Eeep! Thisbookissogood!!!" I'm glad to say this was one of those books. I was slightly iffy starting it--I've read several retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses already and while I've enjoyed them all, some lacked distinction. Entwined not only presents a unique take on the fairy tale, but also a cast of extremely likable characters. I was quickly swept up. The story, once it gets going, keeps you suspended. I really love the way the book focuses on the princesses' relationships with their father; few YA books go to that depth when dealing with parent-child relationships. It was very sweet to me. Especially with that many sisters...the author handled the large family very well. I felt like I knew them all, particularly the eldest three. There is a great romance, as well, but it doesn't overwhelm the storyline--the romance doesn't always take center stage, yet is perfectly fleshed-out. I also appreciated that the love interest did not do all of the rescuing. This protagonist did plenty of her own fighting! All in all, yes, I would highly recommend that you read this....more