Chance to Dance for You by Gail Sobat
“Sometimes keeping a secret is harder than telling the truth.Ian lives in a suburb where everything’s the same. The houses are the same, the cars are the same, and their aspirations are the same. But Ian is different. Openly gay in his bigoted high school, Ian doesn?t exactly fit in. But he’s not worried - he’s been training in dance for a long time and soon he?ll be able to leave town and train to become a professional. Then he falls in love with Jess, the high school quarterback?”
As soon as I read the synopsis for Chance to Dance for You, I knew I had to read it. It sounded like something I would enjoy reading and I was right. I was hooked after reading just the first chapter.
The basic idea of Chance to Dance for You isn’t anything super unique, but that’s part of the appeal. Not every book has to be completely original to be a good book. Chance to Dance for You is told from the first person point of view of the openly gay, twelfth grader, Ian. All Ian wants to do with his life is become a professional dancer, something he has been training to do since he was young. Everything is going according to plan until the good-looking, high school quarter back, Jess comes into the picture. Jess has feelings for Ian, but is afraid to come out of the closet in fear of his highly homophobic father and possibly ruining his social status.
Chance to Dance for You offered some great insights into very common problems, such as racism and homophobia. Jess was the somewhat cliché, but very realistic closet case. The guy whose father wouldn’t be able to deal with having a gay son. It’s sad that situations like this do happen in real life, but it’s good that they get recognized in books.
The book also offered a lot of great messages you can take away after reading it. A big one was standing up for what you believe in and not letting other people’s ideals dictate your life. The closed-minded setting played a big part in relaying that message. Ian was that guy that always tried to stand up for what’s right, but also knew that sometimes nothing can be done about certain things. There were also a lot of quotable moments, such as this one, which is my favorite paragraph in the book.
I don’t really know a whole lot about dancing or ballet, but the dancing was a great addition to the book. It gave Ian a goal or a dream to work towards, something everyone should have in life. The whole having a dream thing definitely played a big part in the book towards the end.
While at first glance, Chance to Dance for You might not be the most original story ever, it’s still a really good read. If you like young adult LGBT fiction, this book is definitely worth checking out. It had a lot of great messages and insights on every day problems.
Source: Teen Book Scene
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