Monday, January 12, 2015

"Wish" by Grier Cooper

(Indigo Dreams Book 1)
by Grier Cooper

Wish is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.
But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

“Need a little help?” Jesse says. A smile tugs at the corner of his mouth as he bends down to pick up the notebooks.
He has dimples. Oh God. I forgot he has dimples.
“You think?” I say, laughing nervously. God, I sound like a hyena.
He leans in to unhook my hair and I catch his scent, citrus and spice. My eyes fall on the necklace lying against the exposed skin of his chest. It’s a giant tooth or claw set into a silver spiral. I imagine how warm it is from touching his skin and I feel my face flush.
No time for boys, Indigo. I turn away with a jerk and sort the mess into neat piles.
The store manager shows up. “Okay, move along,” he says, scowling. “You’ve done enough here.”
“Does this mean we’re eighty-sixed from shopping here ever again?” I ask as we scurry away.
Jesse looks back over his shoulder. “That guy has a serious rod up his…”
I smile. “Hey, thanks for the help.” My smile fades when I notice my mother looking for me. Must. Run. Away. Before she comes over here and says something embarrassing. “Okay, well, see ya!” I run off and leave him standing there, still holding the stack of notebooks.
I'm breathing hard when I reach my mom. She looks at my empty hands quizzically. “I thought you were going to get some notebooks.”
“Yeah, I just couldn’t decide.”
“All right, then. We’re out of here.”
It’s the best thing she’s said to me all day.

Praise for the Book
"An extremely touching, heartfelt, and often humorous account of a young woman’s journey to live her passion. Wish reminds us, that despite our obstacles, we can live the life we dream. You won’t be able to put it down." ~ Zippora Karz, Former Soloist, New York City Ballet, Author of The Sugarless Plum/Ballerina Dreams
"Grier Cooper expertly weaves her insider knowledge into this compelling read. Even if you’ve never danced en pointe, you may find yourself reaching for ballet slippers after reading Wish." ~ Charity Tahmaseb, co-author of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading
"Grier Cooper’s Wish contrasts the elegant and disciplined beauty of ballet versus a gritty and often violent home life. She handles the topic of alcoholism with poignancy and honesty and choreographs in light-hearted moments of friendship, sibling rivalry and a budding romance to round out this touching story of art and love." ~ Paula Yoo (Good Enough, HarperCollins)
"Grier Cooper writes with emotional hooks that penetrate deeply. Her wonderfully-flawed characters are unforgettable. This book and its lovely dancing protagonist sparkle as if onstage!" ~ Corina Vacco, author of My Chemical Mountain
"I absolutely loved Wish; it brought back such memories of high school, boys and ballet. What a gift this is to young dance students." ~ Lauren Jonas, Artistic Director, Diablo Ballet
"Grier Cooper is completely able to express these years of sweat and tears with the accuracy of someone who has lived through it herself. It’s a great read; I highly recommended Wish!" ~ Jenna Lavin-Crabtree, Former dancer with Atlanta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Full time Faculty/Choreographer, Ballet Academy East, NYC

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Fifteen year old Indigo lives in Connecticut with a mother who is emotionally abusive and drinks too much, a father who never comes home, and two little brothers she constantly has to take care of. Her wish is to attend the New York School of Ballet. As Indigo declares, "I've cast my wish out into the world and forces are at work, even now, to make that dream come true." But, between her hectic home life, a crush on the be-dimpled Jesse Sanders, and a nemesis in the form of fellow ballerina Marlene James, Indigo is having a hard time making her wish come true. As problems at home escalate and her father remains oblivious, Indigo dedicates herself to her ballet under the tutelage of Miss Roberta. But when it comes down to a choice between Jesse, her family, or ballet, which will Indigo choose?
This book is beautifully written, with simple yet elegant prose and near-perfect editing. There is an ongoing theme of flying throughout the book, and I wish (excuse the pun) this was reflected in the book's title. The scenes of Indigo's home life are heartbreaking, while the scenes between Indigo and Jesse are sweet and tender. Even though this story is complete, I look forward to sharing Indigo's future adventures.

About the Author
Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.
Her work has been praised as "poignant and honest" with "emotional hooks that penetrate deeply". She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims, and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography. Wish is her first novel.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.

Plus, everyone can download the FREE reader's guide.