A novel in verse is an auto-read for me, but add in some less conventional elements such as a multicultural setting, and it gets immediately moved to the top of the reading pile. Such was the case with A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman, the story of Veda, a teenage girl whose entire life revolves around dance, against her parents wishes, until an accident leaves her with a below-the-knee amputation. As Veda adjusts to life with a prosthetic leg, she decides not to give up on her dream, taking dance classes again and trying to discover who she is now, and what it is she really wants.
A Time to Dance is definitely a novel that is heavier on the emotion than it is on the plot and action, although there is enough to keep the story going. Veda goes through something really tragic, and Venkatraman's description of how she deals with it and what happens afterwards is well done. Without considering the fact that it took place in India and dealt with a different culture, the story of A Time to Dance wasn't that unique and reminded me a lot of The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, where a girl who loves running loses a leg and starts over again. I probably would have been more impressed if I hadn't already read Van Draanen's novel, but I still enjoyed reading this one.
I think the character development in A Time to Dance is really well done and although the story was a bit expected, it was a quiet book and I really appreciated the setting, making it a worthwhile and quick read.
Release Date: May 1st 2014 Pages: 320 Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books Buy It: Book Depository