Ballet Slippers and Chocolate Cheesecake

Cassidy A.
Van Delft
Young Adult

Thyme Taylor has spent her entire life being told who she should be.  Her mother is attempting to ensure the "who" is a great ballerina. When Thyme and her friends are accepted into the Florida Academy of Ballet it seems life can’t get more perfect - especially when she meets the cutest boy. But nothing lasts forever. Not the bad...and especially not the good.


The premise of this book, not to mention the title, shines with cuteness!   And at first, it seems that will be delivered; however, too many things keep this book from living up to its initial potential.  


First, the narrative in the present tense feels very awkward. This is exacerbated by the sudden time and setting jumps. Reading this book feels much like being trapped in quicksand:  there is just nothing to grab onto. Every time the story starts to develop, whether it be Thyme’s summer troubles, the Academy, Thyme’s relationships with her mother, friends or even a certain boy - nothing substantial comes from it.  The reader is introduced to a topic but it’s not explored enough to make them feel the story is on any definite path.  The major threads throughout the novel are Thyme’s low self-esteem, her eating disorder and the ways they slowly wreck possibilities.  Unfortunately even these themes become overly repetitive.  There is no character growth until the very end of the novel.  Still, at its heart, there is an admirable attempt to create a perfect mix of lighthearted fun while still dealing with thought-provoking, serious issues.


Mimi Smith