Here’s why I love the Ballet School Confidential books: they bring to mind that crazy, semi-neurotic-semi-serious, somewhat self-involved, and completely over-the-top phase that is 12 to 16 years.
My almost 13-year-old ballet-loving niece and her friends, who spin wildly from one topic to another (no doubt leaving a trail of uncompleted tasks as they do so), reminds me of the wonderful cast of characters that make up Charis Marsh’s Gossip Girl-meets-Glee ballet series.
The stories of this plugged-in crowd of frenemies, make for a refreshing read. The first book of the series, Love You, Hate You, introduces us to four young dancers in their first semester at the Vancouver International Ballet Academy –focussed, hardworking teens keen to build lives as professional ballet dancers.
In book two, You’re So Sweet, which released this August, Julian, Kaitlyn, Alexandra, and Taylor, the central characters in the series, are older, slightly more mature, but ready to take on the challenges of the new school year – the peer rivalries and personal dilemmas.
The series maintains its authentic teenage voice as the young characters push ahead with their ambitions. We hear the wrenching despair as they individually wrestle their own demons, and the jubilation with success.
Book three, I Forgot to Tell You will be out early in the New Year. Who am I going to root for?!