Monday 12 January 2015

Book Review: Wish by Grier Cooper

Title: Wish
Author: Grier Cooper
Publisher: Dancing Doodle Press
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Note: I received a free copy of Wish in exchange for an honest review by Xpresso Book Tours.

Summary: For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.
But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

Review: Wish is a young adult contemporary novel about 15 year-old Indigo Stevens who is also a ballet student at Miss Roberta's ballet studio and is the first book in a new trilogy. I was immediately drawn into this book simply for the beauty and descriptions of ballet. Dancing is one thing that I always wish I had some level of talent in but never have. Not only are the depictions of dance beautiful but the author was clearly extremely knowledgeable regarding the entire ballet-world and it amazed me the level of dedication and perseverance needed to dance.

But this was definitely not the only key point in the novel. The writing was absolutely beautiful and I felt myself really feeling for Indy. She has to deal with so much more than any 15 year-old should have to. She is the oldest of three children and you get the feeling immediately that their mother is basically an absentee and their father doesn't do much to help this. Her behavior is erratic and her children never know what to expect out of her. This is what they are used to and things come to light with Indy realizing the reason for her mother's behavior: she is an alcoholic. As though she weren't dealing with enough in her own life she needs to figure out a balance. Indy is working like crazy to make it to New York, to be a professional dancer and I found myself wondering how she would deal with all that was going on in her personal life and not lose focus.

Then there is Jesse. He's the cute boy who Indy likes but boys are one of the biggest distractions for girls her age. Which is why Miss Roberta has clearly told all of her students that boys are off limits. Adding him to the mix made for some lighter moments amidst more serious elements in Wish. This was an excellent read and I do look forward to the next book in the series to see where Indy's life is headed!


Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.

Author links:


Giselle said...

Great review, Jennifer! I always love books about either dance or sports etc - they always impress me by the dedication or effort of the characters and I just like the personalities in those books in most cases. I def need to keep an eye out for this one!

Suus said...

Great review and the cover of the book is so pretty!

Grier Cooper said...

Thanks so much for hosting and reviewing WISH today!

Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages said...

Love the review! I've read a few books about ballet, but none of them have stood out to me like this one does!

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