Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Wish by Grier Cooper

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Wish
   *Series: Indigo Dreams #1
Author: Grier Cooper
Publisher: Dancing Poodle Press
Pages: Paperback; 274
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy contemporary narratives, and especially those who have a passion for dance.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
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 so she can begin her ballet dance career. 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. But life with an alcoholic parent is unpredictable. 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.

Wish gives us a look at the life of a young girl who is struggling to hold it all together. Indigo has a lot on her plate. School and dance. Friends, boys and a family that's feeling a little frayed along the edges. All of that set against the backdrop of her big dream: to get into the New York School of Ballet. How do you balance everything, all alone? That's what Grier Cooper aims to share with the reader, and I think overall it came through pretty well.

As main characters go, Indigo was enjoyable enough to follow. Although I never felt completely attached to her, I think she had just enough depth to allow the reader to insert themselves right alongside her. Her passion for ballet came through with a brilliant intensity. Readers who feel the same way she does about dance will definitely appreciate the attention to emotion here. It's clear that Indigo doesn't just want to dance ballet, she has to dance ballet. It's a big part of her, and one that she loves wholeheartedly.

The writing in this story was also very well done. It ebbed, and flowed, following along with the highs and lows in Indigo's life. I never felt like it was forced or over dramatic. What lost points for me were the relationships that surrounded Indigo. See, this story is two-fold. Part Indigo's deep passion for dance, part family narrative. I think that one of these would have done quite well on its own. Life balanced with passion is hard enough. Adding in Indigo's mother and her alcoholism made this a lot to deal with all at once. There was no opportunity for me to feel invested in her struggle. Her family life, mixed with her often vapid friends and love for a boy that she only just started dating, all ended up landing flat for me.

That's not to say that this isn't a well-done story. I think that if I was younger, more the target audience, I probably would have enjoyed it much more. The older I get, the more I realize that I've forgotten how emotional dealing with high school drama mixed with everything else life throws at you can make someone. It's entirely possible I just wasn't able to fully connect with Indigo because I haven't been in her shoes. Keeping that in mind, and because this really is a quick and enjoyable read, I'll happily give Wish a three star rating.


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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