by Shelley Hrdlitschka
Allegra is 17 and a new student at a performing arts high school that she's wanted to attend for years. With parents who are both musicians, she was brought up to follow in their footsteps, even though all she really wants to do is dance.
She lives for dancing and dancing lives in her.
Unfortunately, though Allegra has mastered most elements of musical theory, her new school requires that her class schedule be "balanced" so she has to take a theory course instead of just pure dance classes. As a compromise, her teacher offers her the chance to transpose a simple melody into a full orchestration for credit, rather than repeat work she's already done.
In finding her musical voice, Allegra also finds her personality, which had previously been hidden in social anxiety and panic attacks.
She also finds love.
Final thoughts: While this started off very well, it veered into very uncomfortable territory. While never stated outright, Allegra seems to have mild Asperger Syndrome. She has a very difficult time with crowds and with relating to peers. She also has intense obsessions with her projects like her musical composition and her dancing. She doesn't know how to be like all the kids around her and she fixates on her slightly older teacher to an extreme. The ending feels oddly placed and unreal, especially in this day and age. About halfway through, I almost put it down, fearing that I knew where the story was heading. And while it didn't go exactly where I thought it would, it got too close for comfort.