Absolutely stunning and superb!! The shortest, longest book I've read in a long time. Deeply moving and astounding. Vivid and clear. Lovely lovely lovely story.
Veda is a dancer who experiences a terrible accident on the way home from a competition. Her foot is amputated, but she is determined to dance again. She finds that some of the people she thought would be there for her weren't, while other acquaintances rallied to support her. Veda is a realistic teenage girl in unfamiliar circumstances. Written in verse, this is a book that is inspirational without being sappy.
Veda lives in India and is a classical (Bharatanatyam) dancer. She lives and breathes dance, has for as long as she can remember. She plans to make dancing her career, despite her mother continually pushing her toward engineering. She is amazingly talented and has just won first place in a major competition. After the competition, the bus taking the competitors back home crashes. She wakes in the hospital with her right leg missing below the knee. Talk about a strong female protagonist! This girl simply will not give up! She is determined to dance again with her artificial leg, even when her dance instructor refuses to take her back.
Time to Dance is written in verse and the language is lyrical and beautiful. I really appreciate an author that can create wonderfully vivid images with so few words. I enjoyed learning more about the art of Bharatanatyam dance and about Veda's culture. I was also touched by the spiritual essence of the story. Highly recommended!
From the time that Veda is a tiny girl dancing has been her whole life. But when her leg is amputated below the knee she wonders: Why did God do this to me and Will I ever dance again?
Written in free verse.
Thank you for this review - your last few sentences show valuable insight!
How many times did I cry? Well, a couple. And by "a couple," I mean 20.
Through short chapters of free-verse poetry, Padma Venkatraman does more than tell the story of a girl named Veda. Through her first-person stanzas and the way Venkatraman describes her thoughts, I felt like I was Veda. And Veda is a character so real that a story that could be clichéd - a girl with one leg learns the power of perseverance and starts to dance again - is believable, inventive, and powerful.
I could really relate to Veda - and a few chapters in I realized that it wasn't even because the author was attempting to make her "relatable." Most YA books feature female protagonists who are a dichotomy of "striking" but also "painfully average" along the lines of "she'd never been pretty" and "I'm not beautiful", as if being as average and universal as possible were enough to make a protagonist realistic. But this book was remarkable in that it skipped all that. Veda doesn't look in the mirror and lament about herself in the first chapter. Venkatraman focuses instead on making Veda REAL - conflicted, flawed, determined, and most of all herself - and the "relatability" takes care of itself.
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