It’s been a while since I did a themed book stack here, but I was looking at my tbr this week and noticed Anything But Fine, by Tobias Madden, and The Other Side of Perfect, by Mariko Turk, together on the shelf, and couldn’t resist grabbing my copy of The Long Distance Playlist, by Tara Eglington, to make a trio of contemporary YA books about dancers and dancing.
Of the three, I’ve only read The Long Distance Playlist so far, but I’ve been hearing great things about the other two and am looking forward to reading them soon. Check out the blurbs for these below.
The Long Distance Playlist by Tara Eglington (#LoveOzYA)
Taylor and Isolde used to be best friends – before THAT FIGHT, 18 months ago. It’s been radio silence ever since – until Taylor contacts Isolde to sympathise with her breakup: the breakup that she never saw coming; the breakup that destroyed her confidence and ended her dreams of joining the National Ballet School.
Taylor’s had his own share of challenges, including a life-altering accident that has brought his hopes of competing at the Winter Olympics to a halt.
Isolde responds to Taylor, to be polite. But what starts out as heartbreak-themed Spotify playlists and shared stories of exes quickly becomes something more.
And as Taylor and Isolde start to lean on each other, the distance between them begins to feel not so distant after all …
Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden (#LoveOzYA)
Luca is ready to audition for the Australian Ballet School. All it takes to crush his dreams is one missed step . . . and a broken foot.
Jordan is the gorgeous rowing star and school captain of Luca’s new school. Everyone says he’s straight – but Luca’s not so sure . . .
As their unlikely bond grows stronger, Luca starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?
The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk (thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me a free copy of this one)
Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but one terrifying fall shatters her leg – and her dreams of a ballet career along with it. After a summer spent healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and bingeing ballet videos on YouTube), she must trade her preprofessional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the musical. Rehearsals are nothing compared to Alina’s past life at the acclaimed Kira Dobrow Ballet School. But the stage does offer more than she expected – namely her castmate Jude. He’s annoyingly attractive, ridiculously optimistic and, worst of all, Alina just might be falling for him. However, finding a new normal means making peace with her past and acknowledging the racism she faced. Deep down, Alina still yearns for the world of ballet she left behind. But what does it mean to love something beautiful, yet broken? And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?
Lyrical, romantic and peppered with humour, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change and the importance of raising your voice.
Are any of these on your tbr? I’d love to know in the comments if you’ve read them, or if you have other YA dance books you would recommend!