Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer

Title: When the Stars Go Blue
Author: Caridad Ferrer
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 336
Release date: November 13th 2010
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
Find out more: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads description:
Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before. But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.
First sentence:

Turning, soaring, feeling the hum of the strings like a caress across my skin, the notes from the brass and woodwinds swirling around my body like a cape.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I hadn't heard much about this book, but for some reason, I knew it was going to be good. The beautiful cover - a model who fits to the description of the main character! symbols that actually have something to do with the story! - had When the Stars Go Blue screaming 'read me!' And I am so glad I did.

Soledad is what makes this whole thing work. I just love, love, love Soledad. She's not at all the cliched image you have in mind when you think ballerina - she's  spunky and has some serious attitude, in a good way. Her confidence and insecurities are balanced perfectly - she's not the starving-herself, always-doubting-her-abilities, seriously-needs-to-grow-a-spine character the author could have easily made her out to be, but she's not the so-full-of-herself-it's-annoying dancer either. I loved reading about the feisty Soledad and her refreshing sense of humor, as well as being inside her head to know the insecurities she doesn't often let on she has. I just love Soledad - one of my favorite MCs in a long time!

The secondary characters are great, too. I don't want to say too much about them because I liked not knowing much and just seeing how the story develops and who ends up playing an important role, but they're really well done. Each one is complex and realistic. I liked reading about Jonathan's family situation and all of that. Raj is so adorable, and Taz is just... wow. I would have loved to see (even) more of those two! I liked reading about Soledad's family history, too, and Mamacita, Soledad's grandmother, is just plain awesome.

The romance is realistic - one of the most realistic romance storylines I've read in a while. The direction it ends up going is not predictable and actually took me by surprise, which is something that rarely happens with YA romance. (Not that I have anything against YA romances; they're just very predictable, often.) Jonathan's and Soledad's attraction is a little too strong in the beginning, in my opinion, and for a little while, I was dreading insta-love, but that didn't turn out to be the case at all. Their relationship develops over time, and it's flawed, complex and realistic; everything it's supposed to be.

***This paragraph contains spoilers!***
I would have liked to know a little more about Soledad's and Jonathan's fall-out and the accident. It probably has something to do with Soledad writhing in pain while it's happening and therefore not being able to explain what's happening all that well, but I would have liked what happens to be a little more clear. Maybe I'm being stupid, but it took me a while to get what happened, and I'm still not sure whether what I think is right. 

The dancing is another aspect of When the Stars Go Blue I really enjoyed. I know nothing about dance, so I can't really judge any of this, but it sounds like Caridad Ferrer knows what she's talking about. The dance Soledad and the corps perform sounds amazing. I would have liked to know a little more about what, exactly, the corps are, though. In the beginning, Soledad is hesitant to join the corps because she was planning on sticking to ballet and latin dancing and because drum and bugle corps are so different from anything she's done. Maybe it's just because I know so little about dance, but I didn't see what makes it so different - her performance sounded similar to the kind of dancing she did before. Drum and bugle corps sounds strange and different, but I'm still not sure what exactly it is, and what exactly makes it so different.

I don't know what it is about it, but When the Stars Go Blue is just right. The writing is beautiful, and it sucked me right into Soledad's world - this is the kind of book where you're reading and so involved in the story you don't even notice anything going on around you. (At least it was like that for me.) With a main character I loved and won't soon forget, When the Stars Go Blue is one of the most realistic romances I've read in a long time!

If you've read this book, what did you think?


  1. I don't know if I've ever heard of this one! I'm so curious now.

    Thanks for adding to my wishlist. ;)

  2. YES! I've been looking for some more Latino YA books! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading this one. 


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...