AVALANCHE DANCE by Ellen Schwartz


Age Range: 12 & up
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In this predictable novel, Canadian high schoolers Gwen and Molly have been BF-almost-F--until Molly began to drink heavily and smoke pot (vividly portrayed) with wilder friends, when their ways parted. So after Gwen, a talented dancer, escapes almost unscathed from an avalanche that seriously injures her father, she has no one to turn to and wallows in paralyzing guilt. Meanwhile, Molly accidentally burns down Gwen’s treasured family vacation cabin while partying there with her group, who then abandon her to take the rap. The sentence, conveniently, is to provide 30 hours of service to Gwen’s family, leaving the two teens forced into contact. Molly, ignored by her drinking buddies, immediately reforms. Gwen’s side of the story is told in the third person against Molly’s counterpoint first person, to no apparent effect. Neither character is likable enough to draw significant reader empathy, and the outcome is too hackneyed to provide any revelation. At its best the narrative nicely portrays Gwen’s love of dance; otherwise it's an average, nearly banal tale. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88776-958-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2010