Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.
Novel Focuses: Survival, Family Relationship, Dance, Identity, and perseverance
Do I Recommend? Absolutely especially if you’re looking for a #ownvoice Indian novel!
Why you should bump it up on your TBR
The number 1 reason to bump it up is because it is an own voice novel. The author is Indian and so are her characters. I really enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of her culture and the pieces I saw really made me want to learn more about the culture.
When I picked picked up this book I had no idea it was a novel in verse. Verse novels are one of my favorite types of book so I was really pleasantly surprised when I read that it was formatted this way. I think the format of the book I think really brought a lot to the plot of the story.
Veda was also a really driven character. She knew who she wanted to be and she didn’t care who or what was standing in her way. I really liked that about her and even though her character grew and changed through the book her drive and ambitions really helped make her a great character.
The romance in this book was more on the tame side which is really refreshing, A lot of books especially in the YA genre places romance as the main plot of the story and I’m glad this wasn’t the biggest part of the story. However I did like the love interest in this book he was equally passionate about dance as Veda and I’m glad he was a support for Veda but not an insta fix as some books would of done.
A major focus in this book was Veda’s relationship with her grandmother and I love that! As a person who has such a strong connection with my grandparents I love seeing that represented in a book.
The portrayal of Veda loosing a limb and exploration of the creation of Veda’s prosthetic was really interesting and felt really well researched. However I’m not an expert on the lost of a limb or prosthetic so I can’t for sure say it was accurate representation for those who have experienced it.
Things to look out for
Verse can be a daunting format for lots of people especially if you really love detailed scenes between characters. This can be true in this book especially in scenes where we were learning a lot about the culture as it was all new to me it at times would of been really interesting to have even more background on things that were happening because it was new to me.
My Rating: 3.5/5
I used this book for #DiversityBingo2017 for the square Indian MC (Own Voice)