I don’t remember what led me to this book but, I’m glad I read it. I remember thinking it was about a girl who has professional ballet aspirations that might get derailed as a result of something that happened to her best friend. And, kind, of, that is what it’s about.
First off, ballet plays a very small role. And, as other readers have mentioned, Theo does not act like your stereotypical ballerina. She goes to parties, casually (and frequently) smokes pot. This felt jarring to me, as ballet dancers are elite athletes. Her behavior didn’t make sense to me.
Secondly, Theo has an eating disorder. She’s had treatment, she ‘fesses up to it, but her emotions still overpower her and cause her to restrict her eating. That part made sense. But all that alcohol? Any anorexic knows how fattening drinks are. That felt weird and false.
All through the book, this reader kept noticing: Theo and Donovan come from lovely families. Their parents support them emotionally, support their dreams. They do reasonably well in school. Why would they be making these bad choices? Why would they be so vulnerable to a predator?
And that’s the question. It’s easy to think that only poor kids with stressed families who live in scary neighborhoods can have these things happen to them. But any kid can be charmed by the wrong person, can crave attention from someone who doesn’t deserve it. And that’s what Colbert does so well here.