Disclaimer: I received a free Advanced Copy of this book from the publisher, Pantera Press. This in no way effects my review and all views expressed are my own.
This young adult contemporary follows a true story of dance, tragedy and strength. Chloe has always strived to be a professional dancer, training intensely from a young age and transferring to a dance-focused high school. But suddenly small aches and tiredness turned into a serious illness that not only threatened her life but her dreams.
Now we follow Chloe through her harrowing diagnosis and treatment, all while being a ‘prisoner’ in the hospital. The author’s incredibly painful experiences comes through with every word, it’s clear that this was particularly agonising for someone who’d been such a high-level athlete. Everyone constantly tells her that she should give up on her dancing dream, yet Chloe is determined to get better so she can return to her goal of going onto a pre-professional dance school then onto a career as a dancer. Her strength is impressive and should be an inspiration for everyone.
Throughout her health treatments Chloe continues to grip onto life; her family, her friends and even the possibility of love. Chloe has many close friends, most of whom are dancers like her, and I am impressed that she is able to hold onto these friendships. Many young people can’t deal with serious health issues (I myself lost quite a few friends this way). Meanwhile, despite being trapped in the hospital and tubes sticking out of her chest, Chloe continues to look for love, just like a regular teenage girl. It’s great to see her continue to be a regular girl despite everything.
Personally, I suffer from a chronic pain condition which started off similarly – with tiredness and aches – and I am very familiar with the frustrating unknown, stolen dreams and dramatic change in lifestyle. Thankfully my condition isn’t as extreme or life-threatening as Chloe’s. This made the novel incredibly close to home and painful for me, I even had to skip over the deeply painful hospital periods because it had me in tears. The strength Chloe showed during her self-rehabilitation was truly inspiring and has reinvigorated my desire to work on my own rehabilitation. Very few books have been so close to my own situation and so have affected me this deeply.
At the end, the author added a note on what happened to her after the end of the book. It helped centre it in the real world and I even searched for her on IMDB. It was so fascinating, especially since I had actually some of the shows Chloe was in. It was a wonderful display of how a love of the arts, not just one, can enrich someone’s life no matter their situation.
If it wasn’t clear this book is easily 5/5, it was full of emotion, strength, determination and love of family. Anyone and everyone should read this book, it is a great display of the hardship some people face in there life and can help everyone appreciate their own (and how worse life can always get).