I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer
Published by Macmillan on 2010-11-23
Genres: Dance, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Winner of an International Latino Book AwardA dancer driven to succeed.A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.The summer they share.And the moment it all goes wrong.Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before. But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.
When The Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer rocked my face off. THERE IS DANCING. THERE IS MARCHING BAND. IT IS DRRRRRTY. Yes, drrrty. I’m pretty sure that’s a word circa Christina Aguilera. Anyways, I kind of want to see way more reviews for When The Stars Go Blue because it is fantastic.
This book is basically a retelling of the opera Carmen. Which is interesting, because in the book main character Soledad dances the role of Carmen in the drum corps show. I am going to straight up admit right now I have/know drum corps friends. They are INSANE. In a good way. So, imagine my surprise when I read this book and it completely captures the passion on the field. I mean, okay I only played triangle in the marching band, but yo, there was PASSION there. Not the sexy kind like what Soledad has, but still, passion.
Mmm k, so the book starts off with Soledad at a dancing showcase. She’s about to graduate from high school and plans to stay home during the summer to save money to move to NYC and audition. WELL, after her show ends Jonathan Crandall walks into her life, and asks her to play Carmen for his drum corps show. Thus begins a summer of new experiences, romance, heat, and DANCING.
Also, there is a mysterious stranger.
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. Except to say this book is sexy. You can pretty much feel heat coming off the pages. You can also feel emotions. Also, there are multicultural characters, who are not solely defined by their ethnicity. So awesome.
Oh AND the ending completely surprised me/blew me away. Perhaps because I’m not very familiar with Carmen. Perhaps because I am arrogant enough to think I can predict every book ever. Either way, I liked the unpredictability. It was a logical ending, and actually made sense. I didn’t feel a whole lot of contrivances with When The Stars Go Blue, which again is awesome.
Now, a few quotes for you, then you need to get off your ass and read this book.
“Anyhow, corps is precision and discipline and musicianship and artistry, and it’s amazing, Soledad. Everything, down to your heartbeat it seems like, is so completely in sync with all the other people performing with you, it’s like you’re one person. And before you’ve even finished, the crowd’s going insane and then you hit that final note and all the sound is washing over you, breaking into this self-contained bubble you’ve existed in for eleven minutes.” – pg. 19
If you don’t know the feeling, I feel bad for you.
“We tangoed smoothly, our bodies close in this most intimate of dances, before I shoved him away, extending an arm, sweeping it in a large arc, showing him all the Escamillos twirling black capes like bullfighters, the linings all revealing a different, brilliant color – all the different possibilities the world had to offer beyond his love. As he watched, his features twisting in rage, I took center stage for myself, reaching out to grab everything the world was ready to give me.” pg. 149
Also, can I just say I think dancing is boring as hell? BUT I really really enjoyed When The Stars Go Blue, therefore that should kind of convince you to read this.