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.
Author bio: Mariko Turk grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in creative writing. Currently, she works as a Writing Center consultant at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk