“Fly. Soar. Dance again.”
Jill Mackenzie’s debut Young Adult contemporary is a moving story about a young girl in a small town that doesn’t want her. A talented dancer, Magnolia Woodson believes if she can earn a spot on the popular dance competition show Live to Dance and put her hometown on the map, then the people who live there will forgive her for her mother’s sins. With this hope, she begins a journey for one thing that leads to something she never could have imagined.
What Magnolia and her sister go through is heartbreaking. Though I’m from a small town and am all too familiar with “small town logic,” I fortunately can’t relate to this small of a town and the narrow mindedness of those who live in it. And Magnolia thinking that by winning this contest she could change the way people look at her just gutted me. Though she may have been, in my opinion, entering this competition for the wrong reason, I am so grateful she did because she learned so much and I love the growth the character experiences.
While this is a solid story, for me personally the interactions between the young characters in the beginning were, well… young. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. I’m not the targeted demographic for this book. Spin the Sky is intended for ages 12 and up, which I feel is the perfect audience – tweens and younger teens will love this story. But then the dancing happened and I was so moved and inspired. That’s when the writing became a thing of beauty and the story became ageless. I absolutely loved these parts, and I was so pleased by the ending. These are the kind of endings we need more of. There was a wonderful lesson to be learned and even for a not-so-young adult like myself, it was one I took great pleasure in being reminded of. I highly recommend this for YA lovers and fans of dance.
“My music plays on, and I dance.”
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Quotes included in this review are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.