by Angie Stanton
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Published by: Vanguard Management - November 8, 2011
Genres: YA, Romance, Theatre & Dance
Rating: 4 Stars
Willow Thomas has a bad habit of running away from things that scare her. And most recently, she quit her high school cheerleading squad after a terrifying fall.
With time on her hands, she auditions for a musical production directed by a Broadway choreographer. Just as things are looking up, Willow discovers she will be performing opposite Eli McAvoy, the best friend she abandoned three years before.
Eli has grown up during their years apart. He is in no hurry to play nice with Willow, but their entwined roles in the musical lead to entwined bodies in the backseat of his car.
Just when Willow finally has her life under control, another surprise is delivered in the form of her greatest challenge yet. Will she run or finally stand and face her fears? And will Eli be there to help or turn his back on her for good?
This book had a little bit of everything that I love in it: musical theatre, dance, and best friends falling for each other. As someone with a degree in musical theatre with a voice and dance background, I really liked this book and concept. The theatre rehearsals were realistic as was the director of the show. Most directors, however, are not as likable as Tyson Scott, or as hot. ;)
Willow left her dance career behind to focus on cheer, but when she falls after a flying stunt goes wrong, she's too afraid to get back into that part of her life. It was understandable to me, but not understandable to her friends. With one decision, she finds herself alone in the world minus her hilarious, loving family.
Eli was Willow's best friend and dance partner for much of their lives until a fateful kiss leaves Willow running away from dance . . . and Eli. Suddenly, they're thrown back together as leads in a musical. With characters who are expected to portray heat and want for each other, Willow and Eli struggle to get through the motions while still maintaining space. Director Tyson directs them to go get in the back of Eli's car and figure out how to be physical with one another. I've never had a director tell me to do that, but it probably would've been a good idea a couple of times. ;)
The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was Eli's constant gripe that Willow always quits anything that scares her. Yes, I can see what he means about her quitting dance just because he kissed her, but she was also much younger and didn't know how to deal with their changing relationship. He doesn't even cut her slack for quitting the cheer team after she ends up in the hospital after a nasty fall. Then he provokes her at the end of the book when really he should have been supporting her when she fears the final end to the show. I think the author was trying to show tension between them, but it just didn't work for me.