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Four Seasons

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Allegra Katz has been playing piano since she was four. But these aren't just any piano lessons. She studies at the Julliard School in New York, where careers are being formed—or not.

Between strict practice schedules, music classes, and regular school, Ally doesn't have time for much else. Sometimes she wishes she could break free, but she's never known any other way. Her
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Apr 19, 2014 christine rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, read-in-2014
I started this book with high expectations. I had heard a lot of good reviews about it, and the plot seemed okay: girl who plays piano at Julliard wants to quit; this is her struggle on how she solved her conflict. It was an easy read, something that I could dive into when the other books I was currently reading got to intense. But I did not like Allegra Katz. I know what you're saying: the book isn't all about the characters, it doesn't matter if you like them or not, it's about the plot. Thing ...more
Sep 12, 2012 Morgan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quarter-1
I was introduced to this book by a librarian from our public library. What drew me to this book was that the main character named Ally, studied piano at the Julliard school, which happens to be the very school I wish to attend. While reading the book, the similarities between Ally's life and mine were so shocking, that it was as if the author were writing about me! Here are the many ways that our lives parallel each other: we both play the piano, our mothers are professional opera singers, our d ...more
Jun 28, 2011 Brie rated it really liked it
*Spoiler Alert?
GoodRead's Summary:

Allegra Katz has been playing piano since she was four. But these aren't just any piano lessons. She studies at the Julliard School in New York, where careers are being formed—or not.

Between strict practice schedules, music classes, and regular school, Ally doesn't have time for much else. Sometimes she wishes she could break free, but she's never known any other way. Her parents—a professional violinist and a singer—would kill her if they knew she was thinking
Jun 01, 2016 Kry rated it liked it
I picked out this book because of one thing: piano. The title was relating to pieces created and there was a piano on the cover. It must have some music-y stuff in it! So I picked the book and read the summary of it, unsure of what to expect from it. When I read the summary, I could see me as the main character. It was relatable. As a piano player, I could relate to Ally, the main character. When I read through this book, I felt like I was the main character instead, trapped in a vortex of expec ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
A bit slow, but very warm, and it made me want to go home and play the piano. Great exploration of the pressure on young people to choose their paths early, particularly in the performing arts.
Jun 10, 2017 Swati rated it it was amazing
I loved reading about another fellow pianists journey through finding herself and realizing exactly what music real is. Music is not just notes on a page. It is passion, intertwined with love and unity. Music brings people together, like Allys relationship with Brad. Please read this book. I promise is will make you laugh, cry, smile, and feel all sorts of emotions.
Sue Morris
Feb 17, 2011 Sue Morris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens and young musicians
Recommended to Sue by: review req. publisher
4 1/2*

Fourteen year-old Allegra Katz is a piano prodigy who has been taking lessons from Miss Pringle, the best piano teacher at Julliiard School in New York, where 14 year-old Ally attends Pre-College. She has been taking these lessons since the age of 4, practicing at least 4 hours a day plus 2 more on her scales. With so much piano activity Ally has no time for anything else but High School, where she is also involved playing the piano.

Ally's parents are accomplished musicians in their own ri
Sep 22, 2011 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, music
This is an emotionally engrossing novel that takes us through four seasons of Ally's life, from almost-thirteen to almost-fourteen. She's been taking piano lessons since the age of four, and now all of her free time is taken up with lessons and classes at Julliard. Ally is torn between loving the piano and wanting to be a normal kid and have free time to spend with her friends. She struggles to find the motivation to practice as much as she should (boy, can I relate to that - I was having flashb ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Sabrina rated it it was ok
Thirteen Year Old Allegra Katz is a piano prodigy. She studies at Julliard with one of the most acclaimed teachers of all time. Not to mention, she has the best friends in the world. Also, she has parents that expect the very best, for they are very accomplished musicians as well. But is she happy? Her teacher is a very critical teacher that never gives words of encouragement. She expects everything from all of her students. So, when she starts to contemplate this issue, she realizes she wants m ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Chelsea rated it liked it
Ally Katz is a thirteen-year-old piano genius, having played since she was four years old. She attends a private music school and practices up to six hours a day. She eat, breathes, and sleeps music, especially with very important recital coming up that will determine her musical future. As you can imagine, this rigorous schedule does not leave a lot of time for a social life. With criticisms getting stronger and stress levels rising, Ally begins to long for something outside of playing piano. A ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Jun 06, 2010 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

Ally is a master at playing the piano. She has been taking lessons since she was four. She is now thirteen. She takes lessons from one of the most talented teachers in New York City at the pre-college program at Juilliard.

You have to audition to get into the program, and to stay in the program you have to live and breathe music. She needs to practice at least six hours a day, and she goes to lessons during the week and all day on Saturdays. Her teac
Jul 10, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
I'd rate this at a 3.5/5

I picked this up expecting a light read, and it was in the beginning, so much so that I started to think it could be a middle grade novel.

And then you get to the middle and shit goes down.

Frankly, I have mixed emotions. The beginning was a little dry. I wanted something more advanced or interesting, something to just spice it up. Well, that something came. It was a little surprising, but in hindsight you could see it coming. Maybe not that specifically, but you knew somet
May 01, 2012 Young-adults rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by teen reviewer Joselyn

This book is about a teenaged pianist named Allegra Katz, or Ally, who is thinking about quitting piano by is scared because she’s been taking piano lesson from when she was four years old. Her mother is a singer and her father a professional violinist. It’s a hard decision for Ally because she studies at Julliard School in New York.

I liked this book because Ally goes through everyday life like everyone else, but she has to try to balance school with the hours sh
It was O.K and I liked it but..... there wasn't really anything THERE for me. All I got from this book is that I'm so very glad I haven't devoted my life to playing an instrument. This is a story about a girl named Ally and her growing up and deciding what to do with her life. Whether to quit piano or to continue even though she hates it sometimes. Even though it was interesting to look through the window at child prodigies and their devotion to their music, I had to run and grab the book to rem ...more
Patricia Miguela Alpay
Mar 22, 2014 Patricia Miguela Alpay rated it really liked it
Oh, Allegra Katz. you had everything id ever wanted. i play the piano too, but not as long as you did.

My sister bought this for me yeaaars ago from a ginormous book fair in Manila. I became interested whilst seeing the cover, and reading the short synopsis.

this book is like a coming of age novel. When youre thirteen, there's sooo much ahead of you. but as for Ally Katz, she had only music, the piano, and her family.

i could not imagine the pressures if being in Juilliard, bu
Apr 04, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Oh how I love a good child prodigy story. And a child PIANO prodigy? Even better. This definitely had me waxing nostalgic for my piano days. Also, being well-written and thoughtful didn't hurt either. My heart was with Ally all the way, particularly during her tough times.
There's a lot of classical music terminology and discussion of different pieces, so this may not appeal so much to folks without that background. HOWEVER, I think it will speak strongly to over-achiever-type teens and young pe
Shiphrah Tafari
Sep 14, 2013 Shiphrah Tafari rated it really liked it
I read this book because i went to a book group.
I liked this book, probably because the main character Ally, is a musician, and I am also. I also really liked her because she has a great personality, and I also liked her friends Opal and Brad.
There was some parts where the story was a little boring though, like the second chapter.
But I liked most of the book.
Her father is a violinist and her mother is a singer, and the story starts with her never seeing them in concert, but wanting to.
There are
Arthur Pengerbil
Feb 22, 2012 Arthur Pengerbil rated it really liked it
Reading Level: Grades 6-8

Allegra Katz is going to be a concert pianist. Her family of musicians has know that since she was four. Ally has been attending the Julliard School's Saturday Pre-College Division music program for years. Now Ally is almost thirteen and she longs for a life with more choices. Allegra doesn't know what she wants or even how to tell her parents she is having doubts about her future. If you are born with a tremendous gift MUST you choose it as your life's path?

Other storie
Aug 28, 2011 Smog1997 rated it liked it
When I first saw Four Seasons in the library, I passed on it because of the cover. (Pink nail polish doesn't appeal to me too much. And yes I'm guilty of judging books by their covers.) The next time I was there, I decided to try it because after closer examination, I saw it had praise from Gordon Korman (who I like), so I took it.
The lessons learnt here are fairly obvious, and straightforward, but it was a bit too sappy for my taste. I mean, how many times is her mother going to cry?! Maybe thi
Nari Johnson
Sep 08, 2012 Nari Johnson rated it really liked it
I could definitely relate to this book, probably because I am a pianist myself. I didn't like Ally as much as I should have; but I enjoyed watching her slow journey to her breaking point.

I sometimes consider if it's worth it to quit, and I was going through one of these phases when I was reading this book. Four Seasons did play an influence in my decisions.

I'm still playing piano today. And I love it. :)
May 06, 2012 A. rated it really liked it
This book was fascinating to me on so many levels. At the top of that list is the idea that you can be one of the most skilled people in your field, but if you are surrounded all the time only by people who are as good or better than you, then you really can forget how good you actually are. Especially when people you trust are always criticizing and never praising.
Zoe Beyler
Sep 03, 2015 Zoe Beyler rated it it was amazing
As a musician myself, I found it easy to relate to Allegra and her story. She is in love with music, but finds obstacles in the way of her playing and success with every turn. I loved her story of how she fell miles, but was able to climb back up. I did a project on this book and didn't regret it for a minute. A definite re-read!
Nov 22, 2016 Natalia rated it liked it
Young Adult Fiction - my son really wanted me to read it as he enjoyed it. I thought it was quite good - deals with the pressure parents sometimes put on their children, to give them the opportunities they couldn't have and the negative effects that can have. The main character eventually lost herself to find herself again.
Veronica (In love with Patch No Logic Needed)
Overall a sweet book. Not that I hate it. There is just not much too it. It is somewhat childish. Not an in depth book.I just like the fact it revolves around Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Since I am a big fan of classical music. If your looking for something simple that just tells a story about choice, pick this book up.
Sep 24, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-stuff, piano, meh, music
I only read this for the piano bits, which I personally think there wasn't enough of. I admit, though, that I wasn't interested in any of the romantic aspects which was probably why. Also, that hand on the cover does not look like a pianist's hand, imo. And her nails are painted in a rather gaudy color. Anyway.
Allegra Katz is a very talented pianist attending the Julliard School of Music. However, she is not sure that is exactly what she wants to do with her life anymore, but the expectations of her parents weigh so heavily on her that she feels trapped.

Allegra is selfish, short-sighted, and makes some bad decisions. The writing feels a bit preachy and heavy-handed at times.
Ashley Reif
Jun 26, 2015 Ashley Reif rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really could put myself in her place. I knew what she felt, and how she felt. Maybe not in that exact situation, but I could relate to it.
I loved this book. It was amazing! I really felt apart of it.
Kirsti Call
Jun 09, 2011 Kirsti Call rated it liked it
I was drawn to this book by its cover. I always love a book that centers around music. This book adeptly shows the pressure that kids at Julliard feel from parents, teachers and peers. The main character is believable and lovably human despite her genious for playing the piano.
Sep 06, 2011 Sannasue rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
This was a typical teenage 'does he like me?' book except for the fact that this teenager goes to Julliard. I had fun reading about all the piano pieces she was learning, otherwise just an okay story line.
Stephanie A.
Jul 19, 2012 Stephanie A. rated it liked it
Spent forever waiting for something to happen. Though appealing in theory and well written enough to earn a third star, it turned into an "I will finish this or die trying" grudge match. Most intriguing characters: the parents.
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