One Dream Only:
She thought she was on her way to the top…
Sixteen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya has one dream and one dream only: becoming the best ballerina ever. Dancing’s always been who she is and she’s working her hardest to land the main role of the School of Performing Arts’ end-of-the-year showcase. But…will she make it?
Within a week, Natalya’s life will be changed forever.
This little novella was heartbreaking. It’s goes through the events of a week, alternating between the before and after the accident that changes Natalya’s life forever. Heartbreaking.
I really liked to get to know Natalya in the before. Having read A Summer Like No Other and Always Second Best I knew a bit about Natalya’s from Em’s POV, but this had a totally different feel to it. I’m also glad that I read the novella before the novel below, because it made me understand Natalya a lot better.
The only thing that made me rate it lower was that nothing actually happens… I finished the novella knowing Nata better, but that was it. Now… onto to the novel.
One, Two, Three:
When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.
Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.
But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.
At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.
When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
This book was clearly Elodie Nowodazkij’s first one, and it shows. I love her writing, but it’s clear on this one that she was still growing. It’s noticeable in little things, such as slight repetitions of phrases and thoughts, but overall I really liked it.
I did like the characters, Nata and Tonio were amazing and complex, but while they went through a lot of growth in this book, I still felt that they weren’t completely fleshed out. I still liked they’re relationship a lot, and how they truly listened and helped each other.
The situation about Natalya’s mother was sad, and it broke my heart that anyone in such an young age had to go through what she was going through with her mom. Still, I did find a few incongruences within the whole story. I particularly thought that Nata does a 0 to 80 in terms of being able to admit her mom’s problem to others. The why of the whole thing, I managed to anticipate :).
Natalya makes some really stupid decisions for a moment there, and while I understood them, I also felt that some were not as forgivable as others. I did admire the support and love of her friends, boyfriend and “family”, and I was happy by the resolution of that particular conflict.
All in all, I really enjoyed Nata’s story, but ultimately I still love Nick and Em’s story best :D.