February 9, 2016

Mini-reviews: Life in Motion, An Unlikely Ballerina + Zero Day

pub Mar 4 2014 by Touchstone
Memoir
I rarely pick up memoirs and the ones I do are usually a result of watching the movie or by chance, the subject matter catches my interest (ie. Eat Pray Love). In this case, I picked up Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina because Misty Copeland’s rise to fame has been a hot topic for a while now and I was intrigued. (Plus c’mon, it’s ballet!) My fear with reading memoirs is they won’t reel me in the way my usual fictional novels do but that wasn't the case here. I was surprised, and deeply impressed, by how engrossed I quickly became with Misty’s life story. Her writing made it feel like she was sitting with you telling you how she went from a painfully shy and anxious young girl to the confident ballet prodigy she continues to be today. She talks at length about her home life and what she struggled with on a daily basis with her mother and five siblings. I had no idea the kind of drama she endured but it’s clear it’s made her a stronger, more determined and more humbled person. It was really inspiring to read about the first time she realized ballet was her true calling and how slowly but surely, she realized the impact she could make as an African American ballerina within a community like the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. She’s honest about the ups and downs within herself and within the profession. It’s seriously eye-opening and as I mentioned earlier, extremely well-written. I admit there are times when her tone comes off a little PSA-like and I wondered if the positive spin she seemed to put on every person was completely true. But the heart of her book, which is her determination to get where she is today, definitely shines through.

Do I recommend? I do! If you’ve seen Misty Copeland in the news and find yourself wondering about her, her memoir is a great read.

pub Jan 12 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
YA - Mystery Thriller
Received ARC at ALAMW
Zero Day is admittedly out of my comfort zone. I rarely pick up thriller-esque books but something about the plot really intrigued me. Addie Webster was kidnapped eight years ago – no ransom, no leads, no trace. In that time, her father became President of the United States and the rest of her family (mother and sister) were forced to move on. Now suddenly, Addie is back. She escaped the people who held her hostage and is reunited with her family and living in the White House. But nothing is as it seems and everyone is walking on eggshells around her as they try to understand what exactly happened in the last eight years. This book had all the makings of being a good thriller and a good psychological story, especially as we learn just what exactly Addie's been through. But something felt flat with the execution and even the characters. I understood why Addie wouldn't exactly be jumping to volunteer information to those around her. But as a reader privy to her thoughts, I still couldn't connect to her or understand her. And some of the reveals later that are meant to explain her actions felt anticlimactic. Another big part of the story is Darrow Fergusson. He was Addie's childhood best friend, son of the president's chief of staff and the boy who never forgot her. He's blackmailed into spying on Addie when certain people of power don't completely buy her escape story and he agrees. He may not know what exactly is happening but even he can see that there's a lot Addie isn't letting on. My ability to buy their connection (and chemistry) wavered. I think I just really liked the idea of these two childhood best friends never forgetting the other but it never fully came to life in the way it needed to.

Do I recommend? There were times when I was tempted to put the book down but the need to know the truth kept me going until the end. And that's a good thing! But overall, it just wasn't for me.

3 comments:

  1. So excited to hear you say good things about Misty's book! I am the same with memoirs in that it usually takes me a while to get through them. But I've been dancing since I was three, and everything dance related interests me! I will definitely be picking this one up! Thanks for the review :)

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  2. I really do want to read Misty's book! I feel like it would be so fascinating to learn about Misty's life, and read her story. Plus, I would really like to hear about what her experience as a ballerina was like! Glad to see you enjoyed it :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. I am dancing, yoga and barre class lover. I feel good and flexible by doing these. I got to know many new things from your blog. Thank you very much. I am refreshed.



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