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Dancing Teens

Mandy W. reviews Pirouette by Robyn Bavati, a twin swap dance book that's a bit more Y than A. 

Dancing Teens

BOOK REPORT for Pirouette by Robyn Bavati

Cover Story: You're Pretty... Pretty Young
BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh x 2
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Short and Sweet
Bonus Factors: It Takes Two, Dance, Diversity, Melbourne
Relationship Status: Summer Fling

Cover Story: You're Pretty... Pretty Young

This cover's cute and all, but MY GAWD am I too old for this shizz. (Not the first time you'll be hearing that, btw.) And the models look more like they're doing yoga rather than dancing.

The Deal:

Simone's been training to be a professional dancer for her entire life, even though whatever interest she once had in performing has turned into disdain. Hannah, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to dance, but her parents don't take her passion seriously.

Gee -- these girls sound sooooo different, don't they? Like, there's no way they could be the same person? Well, when they meet at a summer dance camp, they discover that OMG they're actually identical twins were separated at birth fifteen years ago! And seeing as how they're completely opposite when it comes to dance, they do the only logical thing: Hannah attends the camp in Simone's place.

And since that works out pretty well, they decide to switch places for realsies. But wouldn't you know it, assuming someone else's identity is kind of hard! And the grass ain't always greener and so forth. How long can Simone and Hannah keep this up for? And what will happen once the truth comes out?

BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh x 2

As my illustrious history as an twins-in-fiction connoisseur has taught me, it is a universal truth that one shall be shy and reserved (Simone) and the other outgoing and carefree (Hannah). Oh, and they must be Geminis too, because of course they are; twins just aren't born during any other time of the year, don't ya know?

Anyway, I gravitated towards Simone, since I usually pick the more low-key twin in these situations.* But the two of them think that pretending to be each other is a valid life choice. Plus, Hannah actually says things like, "It's so unfair!" Sorry, girls -- I'm just wayyyyy too old for that shizz.

*Which means yes, I picked Elizabeth over Jessica, OK?! (FOR SHAME.) But my SVH obsession ended in junior high, and that was a poor judgment age all around.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Simone's crushing on Tom from dance camp, and Hannah has her eye on Matthew from Simone's school. (Although I initially thought that Hannah's disinterest in boys at the camp was hinting at disinterest in boys, period.) Natch, the switcheroo complicates these potential relationships. Everything's very chaste and innocent -- like, worrying if kissing on a second date is too soon kind of innocent -- and there's a teensy bit of fluttery feels. It's all so very young, and I'm probably being generous. But I'm going for a theme here, clearly.

Talky Talk: Short and Sweet

This book isn't that short, length-wise, but I breezed through it in a couple of hours. The plot plays it safe and predictable, but it's not without fun, either. However, I did find the book to be abrupt on a few occasions. Like, the characters would be talking, and then BAM -- chapter over. I get why the entirety of a convo doesn't need to be included, but I did develop a bit of whiplash from all the "Well, I guess that convo's done."

Bonus Factor: It Takes Two

If you thought I picked this book because of its similarity to the defining twin swap movie of my time... then you know me pretty well, internet friend.

Bonus Factor: Dance

Simone's enrolled at an elite dance school, which teaches everything from ballet to Bollywood. I definitely preferred the dance school aspect more than the descriptions of the actual dances. While I didn't feel lost in the lingo, some things are meant to be seen, not read.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

The twins are being raised under different religions: Hannah's Jewish, and Simone's Catholic. Which, you might not be surprised to learn, adds another degree of difficulty in their whole impersonating-their-twin schtick.

Bonus Factor: Melbourne

I kept thinking how this book would be a good summer read but it's being released in November. And then it occurred to me: DUH, DUMMY -- it's set in freakin' Australia.

Casting Call:

These people so should not be playing fifteen year olds. But C'MON. I obviously had to pilfer actors from Dance Academy. (Although try to suppress the Camp déjà vu.)

Dena Kaplan as Hannah/Simone (not to be confused with Hannah Simone)

Tom Green as Tom

Tim Pocock as Matthew

Relationship Status: Summer Fling

I didn't enter into this relationship under the pretense of wanting something more. Our time together may not have been life changing, but sometimes a light, fluffy read is what you're in the mood for, you know?

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Flux. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). Pirouette will be available November 8.

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.