Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Chance to Dance for You by Gail Sidonie Sobat

Title: Chance to Dance for You
Author: Gail Sidonie Sobat

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Great Plains Teen Fiction (May 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1926531116
ISBN-13: 978-1926531113
Ian lives in a suburb where everything's the same. The houses are the same; the cars are the same; the families are the same; and their aspirations are the same. But Ian is different.

Openly gay in his bigoted high school, Ian doesn’t exactly fit in. But he's not worried— he's been training in dance for a long time and soon he'll be able to leave town and train to become a professional. Then he falls in love with Jess, the high school quarterback.

Living in the Canadian suburbs has not stopped Ian from thinking of bigger and better things for his dancing career. Ever since he was a tot he hasn't done anything or thought about anything more all-consuming than his dancing. And although the teachers at his high school don't like to talk and rather stay away, they can't ignore the results that incorporating his dance techniques and flexibility exercises helps improve their athletes mobility. When a certain jock takes notice of Ian, it sparks a secret relationship between the two that the former would die to keep.

To start off, the predictability bar was set very high and did not disappoint. I knew what was going to happened before I even read the book. One thing I did not expect was for Chance to Dance for You to be crazy funny and satirical at times. Ian loved to make fun of the jocks, the burbs, his school in general and I loved reading all the names he came up with; they all had their own original twist on the names we hear everyday. I also appreciated the fact that Ian had a separate life that concentrated on his dancing when he started his relationship with Jess. That distraction definitely gave a spin to the book that was needed in order for the plot not become stagnant and solely focused on the secrecy between Ian and Jess.

Since Chance to Dance for You was such a short read, the only issues I had with it was the predictability and the ending. In a lot of ways, these two things coincide and it was the ending that I saw coming and did not enjoy reading at all. I know some may say different, that it's really the reality of homosexuality right now but the way and context in which this book was written set up such high hopes for the reader only to have them come crashing down in two seconds. However, I imagine that's how brief it would take to ruin someone's life, and I understand how the author wanted to illustrate that.

Grade: C

Source: Teen Book Scene


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