When the music stops, the dance begins.
Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.
But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.
My rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’m still unsure on how I feel about this book. On one hand the concept was really interesting and there were parts of the story that really captivated but on the other hand there was something missing- I’m just not exactly sure what.
One thing that I really liked about this book was the gothic mood it had as well as this Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling vibe which is a story that I love( though I’ll admit my only knowledge comes from the Barbie movie- don’t judge.) The vibe was definitely my part of the book, one thing that I also found interesting was how ambiguous the setting/ time period was. It was really unclear as to when and where the book took place and while I would have liked just a little more world building, I also found that it added to the atmosphere of the story.
I think one of the reasons why my feelings are so mixed is because I didn’t find that we got enough insight in the main character’s, Peggy, personality. All of these horrible things were happening to her and the people around her but I could barely bring myself to care. Characters are the most important of a story, at least in my opinion. They are what make or break a story and they’re the reason that you like a book. Obviously an intriguing plot is important to the experience of reading but if we know nothing about the character’s what’s the point? Admittedly it is kind of hard for her to have a personality when she’s being basically controlled but i would’ve liked some inkling of a passion or something like that. I wanted to desperately care about what was going on but I couldn’t because I didn’t feel much more Penny.
I also found that the story ended a little too neatly, the ending felt almost anti-climatic and it was disappointing. I think this book could’ve profited from a least a hundred more pages to really flesh out the characters and emotions and also make the ending not so abrupt. It had the potential to be a great book but there was just too many things that fell flat for me to readily enjoy it.