Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone (HarperCollins, 2005). Kayla is one of the strongest dancers at her performing arts school, but there’s just one problem. Or, well, two. Kayla’s busty–in a double D/needs-to-wear-three-bras kind of way–and the world of ballet has a very specific body type preference. Will she get surgery? Push back against societal expectations? Find relief in the company of the cute new guy or find out that he’s really somehow sinister? Ages 12-up.
As I’ve already mentioned, I was a busty teen myself and body-image books are especially interesting to me. I also danced along the borders of the ballet world–taking classes along with tap and jazz, watching with protective interest over my slightly younger “adopted” baby sister, who was on her toes and center stage.
That said, Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You is at times funny, thought-provoking, and even romantic. It has a splash of suspense and its share of historical illusions. The novel should be a big hit with budding feminists, the arts-oriented, and those with an emerging political bent. “Once upon a time” will never be the same. Bravo!
Fans of Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You might also enjoy Unexpected Development by Marlene Perez (Roaring Brook, 2004).
Combining Humor, Feminism, and Fairy Tales in a Teen Novel by Linda Johns from authorlink.com. An interview with Dorian Cirrone, author of Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You (HarperCollins, 2005).