Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: Dancing Her Dreams Away by Alretha Thomas

Title:  Dancing Her Dreams Away
Author: Alretha Thomas
Pages:  318
Publisher: Diverse Arts Collective, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0615458175
Age: 16+

Front Cover
The front cover of this book draws the reader in along with the title, “Dancing Her Dreams Away.”  Why would this girl be dancing away her dreams??  First thought… What choices has she made that has lead her to a challenging/compromising situation where her dreams are no longer a priority?  Let me check it out!

Background (Provided by Amazon)
Shelia King, a fun-loving grandma’s girl, needs to keep her days open for auditions in the hope of landing a role that will catapult her to stardom. With the threat of eviction looming, she scrambles to find a night job and convinces the owner of a hostess club to hire her. Now she’s a dance-partner-for-hire by night and struggling thespian by day. When her agent pitches a topless role, fearing her grandmother’s disapproval, Shelia declines. But after setbacks and considerable thought, she agrees to meet the producer. Gregory Livingston III is rich, suave, ridiculously fine, and the panacea for Shelia’s career woes. At first sight she shapes plans to win the role and his heart. She gets both and works hard to give an Oscar worthy performance. However, when the movie wraps, nothing can prepare her for the startling revelations about Greg’s past and the aftermath of a dream gone awry.

My Thoughts
So, I guess you are wondering if I liked the book or not….  Well, I won’t keep you waiting.  *drum roll* Yes, I did enjoy it!  Why?  Well for starters, I liked how the author jumps right into the swing of things, introducing us to her main character (Shelia King) and her troubles.  I was able to easily visualize the scenes that the author described as the story of Shelia King unfolded.  I also liked the mystery that was present.  There was always that feeling that something was about to be revealed about one of the characters in the book and you had to keep reading in order to find out.  And YES, there is much that is revealed!! 

As far as challenges, I did find that there were a few things that were a little unbelievable or far reaching (in my opinion).  However, I think this demonstrates the creativity of the author and her way of driving the reader to believe differently from the norm.  For example (Spoiler Alert!!), Shelia could have easily been working in a strip club instead of a club where men come to ballroom dance with a partner for a small fee or a “dance-partner-for-hire.”  I believe the author challenges us to move away from the typical result/outcome of a struggling aspiring actress to a more positive one.  Another challenge this was how quickly she fell for Gregory Livingston.  Now, I have heard of love at first site, but wow!  I felt as though they should have dated at least three days before they were madly in love.  Just to make sure he wasn’t a toad (LOL)!  Lastly, I did not really connect the title with the plot directly.  I understand how they can be associated; however, I did not see how dancing was the direct result of her dreams being jeopardized.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book!  The turn of events at the end of the book that allowed Shelia to restore and rebuild her life was awesome.  It was a very emotional experience and I actually was able to take something from her healing process and apply it to my own life.
My recommendation for this book is:

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