Sunday, March 27, 2016

What You Always Wanted

23006006Rae, Kristin. What You Always Wanted.
March 29th 2016 by Bloomsbury
E ARC from

When Maddie's family moves into a small and decrepit house because they are having financial difficulties, Maddie hopes that she can make friends in her new high school, and possibly get a part in a school drama production. She gets an answer to both wishes when she meets neighbor Angela, whose mother is the drama coach... and whose brother, Jesse, is awfully cute. Maddie is very talented, but manages to make the current diva, Rica, angry. Rica sabotages Maddie's audition by telling her to take a double does of allergy medicine, but Maddie bears her shame with good grace, especially when she gets an even better part in a community production. She manages to make friends, get involved in school, and have several boys interested in her. She's a huge fan of tap dancer Gene Kelly, and is secretly looking for a boy who can measure up. When she realizes that Jesse is a very talented tap dancer who quit because his father considered dancing beneath Jesse's athletic capabilities, she is instantly smitten. Will he feel the same way?

Oh, wait. Of the BOOK? Okay. This is a great, clean romance. I adore, adore, adore this series and their age-appropriate swoony crushes that have small problems but work out in the end. The fact that Gene Kelly is mentioned frequently... how gorgeous was he?

Weaknesses: Gene Kelly died (2 Februrary 1996) before any of the teenagers who read this were born. It was kind of weird when I was very interested in his work in high school. I don't have any students who are well versed in classic movies. Also, I worried about Maddie's career path, because one of my daughter's friends was a talented Thespian... who is now working at a Panera Bread in L.A. 

What I really think: Will definitely buy a copy. Maybe my readers will look up Kelly on You Tube. 


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