Continue below to read my review of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on 'THE TURNING POINTE' blog tour brought to you by TURN THE PAGE TOURS, KNOPF, and VANESSA L. TORRES!
'The Turning Pointe' by Vanessa L Torres is an emotional coming of age story set in the heart of Minneapolis during the peak reign of The Purple One, Prince.
Rosa, our main character is at once relatable despite her somewhat unique situation. Daughter of ballet Master Geno who rules with an iron fist, she's deeply conflicted by a mixture of familial loyalty, tradition, and the desire to give in to the call of her true passion.
With her perfect sister no longer on the rise to principal dancer of the ballet company, the expectation falls to her. Unfortunately, her love of dance lies somewhere else... in a funky little corner of the world called First Avenue under the starbright gaze of His Royal Highness of shredding guitar riffs and sultry vocals.
It's a sweet story carrying some very real world baggage. Rosa's struggle isn't an easy one and things aren't necessarily what they seem for those around her either.
Nikki, our 'darling' one.. or the 'hot fox' as Rosa likes to call him, is the big reason I wanted to read this book and he was absolutely worth the effort. Honestly though, all the core characters have backstories with substance and something to tell.
It's obvious that Torres has a deep love of dance, Prince, and the old Minneapolis scene. It's definitely not a passing reference here, the story is deeply rooted in both. Having visited First Avenue & 7th Street Entry back in the day.. because if I was going to be in Prince's stomping grounds it was a must.. I completely understand how growing up around there would be something you carry with you for a lifetime. Even passing through, my experience there still echoes through me.
I really enjoyed this read. If you like books centered in historic eras of music, transformative stories of underdogs, and characters who want to live without boundaries.. this is the book for you.
The Turning Pointe
Vanessa L. Torres
Published by: Knopf
Publication date: February 22nd, 2022
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
A bold and emotionally gripping novel about a teenage Latinx girl finding freedom through dance and breaking expectations in 1980s Minnesota.
When sixteen-year-old Rosa Dominguez pirouettes, she is poetry in pointe shoes. And as the daughter of a tyrant ballet Master, Rosa seems destined to become the star principal dancer of her studio. But Rosa would do anything for one hour in the dance studio upstairs where Prince, the Purple One himself, is in the house.
After her father announces their upcoming auditions for a concert with Prince, Rosa is more determined than ever to succeed. Then Nikki–the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop–leaps into her life. Weighed down by family expectations, Rosa is at a crossroads, desperate to escape so she can show everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes. Now is her chance to break away from a life in tulle, grooving to that unmistakable Minneapolis sound reverberating through every bone in her body.
Vanessa L. Torres is former dancer and an author of books for young readers. She loves to read anything with a vivid setting, but there’s a special place in her heart for urban tales.
She was born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota, and now lives in Olympia Washington with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing, she balances her time between anything outdoors, and her other job as a firefighter/paramedic. And when the snow hits, you might catch a glimpse of her ski patrolling on the mountain.
A Court of Crows
Eris lifted the paper. “You didn’t really expect me to implement such restrictive measures on day one of a siege, did you?”
“Of course not,” said Ruith with a shrug.
“Then why give it to me at all?”
“Because they think I’m here to take Brucia from under you.”
The queen’s mouth was dry. “And are you?”
Ruith stood. His heavy footsteps thumped in time with her heart as he came around the table. Trailing his fingertips over the tabletop, he stopped next to her throne, towering over her. “I have six thousand Crows at my command. I am stronger than any man, better with my sword than all three of your queensguard put together, and faster than every human I have ever met. If I wanted your city, it would be mine. Whatever I want, I get.” He lifted his fingers from the table and brushed them against her cheek.
Eris’s heart skipped a beat.
She grabbed his hand. “You do not have me.”
The sound of his dark chuckle left her fighting a shudder.
“Not yet,” he said.
“If you ever touch me uninvited…”
“Please.” He wrinkled his nose, disgusted, and pulled his hand away. “I would never. I have no interest in bedding a woman who doesn’t wish it. If the touch is truly uninvited, then I apologize. But if it isn’t, and if these sultry looks you’ve been throwing me are more than just curiosity…” Ruith leaned down, lips hovering next to her ear. He smelled like warm leather with a sharp citrus bite. “I will touch you in ways no one ever has, or ever will again. I could give you more pleasure with one finger than you’ve ever known.”
Eris’s insides turned molten, skin prickling at the thought. She turned her head toward his, their mouths suddenly so close that they shared breath for a moment. “That’s a bold claim. I’m a queen. I could have anyone I wanted.”
He leaned back, his smirk returning. “I’ve seen the men in this city. I know what I’m up against, and I stand by my statement.”