My Rating: 3 stars
Date Read: June 24, 2014
Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Publication Date: June 26, 2014
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genres: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Summary (taken from Goodreads): 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?
Review: This one starts off slow, but it doesn't take long to be invested in the characters. It also really shines at the end. The story was full of heart and hope, even while dealing with difficult situations. It really focused on being yourself - not only parts of it, but everything you are. Natalya really learned this through the book, as she realized how much revolving her entire life around ballet hurt her.
I really felt for the characters while reading. Natalya was wonderful and her growth was nice to see. I was so proud of her by the end of the book, because she faced so much and handled it pretty well, given the circumstances.
The side characters were great as well. Becca is a great friend, very forgiving and always there for Natalya - although I can say parts of that felt a little unrealistic. Some flaws would have made her more interesting as a character, but I still enjoyed her. I loved her and James, and I also loved Tonio and Natalya's relationship.
That said, I feel this book is right in the middle. It has its flaws. I feel like this wasn't great, but average.