DANCING IN RED SHOES WILL KILL YOU

Dorian Cirrone, Author
Dorian Cirrone, Author . HarperCollins $15.99 (213p) ISBN 978-0-06-055701-0
Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Library Binding - 213 pages - 978-0-06-055702-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-9951-3
Paperback - 213 pages - 978-0-06-055703-4
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-188365-1
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-188376-7
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-188459-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 224 pages - 978-0-06-188380-4
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The engaging voice of 16-year-old ballet dancer Kayla Callaway propels Cirrone's debut novel. Kayla is having trouble at the Florida Arts High School (aka "Farts High"). Not only has she been given a minor part in the school's ballet, but her teacher has also approached her about getting breast reduction surgery. And pairs of red pointe shoes have been appearing in the halls, the first of which had an ominous message attached: "Dancing in red shoes will kill you." (Kayla is one of only three dancers wearing red shoes in the ballet.) The ballet metaphors run a little heavy in Kayla's narration ("My stomach did a grande jeté ") and it's hard to believe that the teen, a serious dance student, would be so shocked by her teacher's suggestion about the surgery. But Kayla, her gay best friend, Joey, and her fiery feminist sister make for likable characters, and the shoe mystery is well played, with several characters coming under suspicion. Readers may lose interest in the novel after they learn who and what was behind it, but ultimately the mystery and its resolution—as well as Kayla's own soul-searching about her body—raise thought-provoking questions about cultural expectations for girls and women. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

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