Author: Beth Kephart
Genre: YA fiction
Where I got it: E-library
One sentence: Rosie tries to cope with her absentee mother and her grandfather’s impending death and holding onto his memories through learning how to dance.
Themes: Loss, dance, coming-of-age
Main character: Rosie is an insightful fifteen year old trying to deal with the sickness and impending loss of her grandfather as her mother has an affair with a married man. I thought Rosie’s character was well-developed and strong; she was very mature for her age and worked through the process of death through learning the waltz, like her grandmother used to dance.
Secondary characters: Kephart tried to bring in the secondary character of Nate, but he seemed too conspicuously absent to even be a minor character. I thought the character of Rosie’s mother was particularly intriguing in how she was both absent (but very much a presence) and how she was the other woman.
Writing style: Kephart actually had a very mature and fluid writing style that I found compelling and beautiful, especially in a young adult novel, where I feel too often, writing focuses on action and not on description or style in the writing itself.
Plot: I thought there would be more actually dance involved in the novel; instead it seemed to focus on the relationship between Rosie and the other characters: her grandfather, her mother, and how she used dance as a gift to her grandfather. Ultimately, I wished there was some more depth to the plot.
Positives: Rosie’s character, the writing style
Negatives: Not a lot of plot, some minor characters underdeveloped, slow start
Ending: I wish Kephart would have actually included the party at the end! I felt like the novel needed, and was working up to some sort of climax, and I was left wanting to know what the party was like.
Verdict: Cute and refreshing in writing style and character portrayal, but ultimately unsatisfying.