Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Allegra by Shelley Hrdlitschka

Allegra
By Shelley Hrdlitschka
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: Allegra thinks being at a performing-arts high school will change her life and make her a better dancer. But high school is still high school, complete with cliques, competition and cruelty. Allegra's refuge comes in the form of a class she doesn't want to take--music theory, taught by a very young, very attractive male teacher. Soon all Allegra can think about is music composition--and Mr. Rochelli. But has she misunderstood his attention, or is he really her soul mate?

Review: I really love any movie or book that has to do with music or dancing, so I was really eager to get into this one. And the summary hinted about a relationship between Allegra and her super cute teacher, which is a really popular storyline, so it sounded like a promising story. When I got through it, though, it just seemed to be missing something. 

Allegra finally has the chance to attend dance school, something she's been begging her musician parents to allow her to do for forever. But even though she's finally at a performing arts school, high school is high school and Allegra just can't seem to connect with the people her age. So when she's given a composing project with the young new teacher, Allegra finds herself getting lost in the world of composing music with him. Allegra, though, doesn't know if her growing feelings for her teacher are reciprocated, or if it's just the music that's creating the magic. 

I liked the book enough when it started, but it seemed like Allegra's story never really picked up and went anywhere. I liked how Allegra's character was so passionate about dancing and how she had a hard time connecting with people her age. But when she decided to go into some sort of depression or lack of passion period of her life, I just got annoyed with her. And it happens more than once throughout the book. Then, the whole thing with her teacher wasn't even as central to the story as I thought it would be. Yeah, it was a huge part of the story, but the whole romance story wasn't really what i wanted it to turn out to be. Allegra just seemed like a silly girl with a crush. And it seemed like there were three possible relationships for her, which I wasn't too big of a fan of. 

I thought it was cool how Allegra was putting her heart and soul into the song she was composing, but it was described as this amazing piece that every single person who listened to it could feel the emotion behind it and was absolutely floored by it. Could a song written by an 17-year-old really be that amazing? I don't know. But the way every single person in the book raved about the song was a bit too much for my taste. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice aspect to Allegra's character to have her challenge herself and compose an entire song, but I could have done without the exaggerated amazingness of it. 

Overall, Allegra was just an okay book. I really wanted more than what I got, especially with the whole performing arts aspect. She barely described the dance parts and only focused on her out of this world composition. And the "romance" wasn't really all that I was expecting. This was still a quick, fun read, I just wanted more from the story when I was done with it.



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