A stunning and unique story about healing that offers a gentle hand to anyone who struggles with perfectionism, competition and an all-or-nothing mindset, as well as those who don't understand ambition.
Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but one terrifying fall shatters her leg - and her dreams of a ballet career along with it. After a summer spent healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and bingeing ballet videos on YouTube), she must trade her preprofessional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the musical. Rehearsals are nothing compared to Alina's past life at the acclaimed Kira Dobrow Ballet School. But the stage does offer more than she expected - namely her castmate Jude. He's annoyingly attractive, ridiculously optimistic and, worst of all, Alina just might be falling for him. However, finding a new normal means making peace with her past and acknowledging the racism she faced. Deep down, Alina still yearns for the world of ballet she left behind. But what does it mean to love something beautiful, yet broken? And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?
Lyrical, romantic and peppered with humour, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change and the importance of raising your voice.
'A captivating story of love, loss, identity and rediscovering your truth. Perfectly en pointe!' Wai Chim, author of The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling
'A nuanced exploration of shattered dreams and new beginnings. Full of pain and beauty, like the best ballet.' Jenna Guillaume, author of What I Like About Me
Mariko Turk grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in creative writing. She received her PhD in English from the University of Florida, with a concentration in children's literature. Currently, she works as a Writing Center consultant at the University of Colorado Boulder. She lives in Colorado with her husband and baby daughter, where she enjoys tea, walks, and stories of all kinds. The Other Side of Perfect is her debut novel.
A & U Children
Paperback - B format
12 - 18