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Ballet was everything to Alina until an accidental fall changed it all. The Other Side of Perfect follows Alina as she works on coming to terms with her past trauma while finding her new future. The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk is an inspiring novel that will have you thinking, feeling, and longing for the stage. I loved this story and it is definitely one of my faves of 2021.
Mariko Turk brings forth important topics within the pages of The Other Side of Perfect.
First and most importantly, there is a focus on racism and typecasting in the performing arts. This is an important topic to discuss, and it shows Alina’s experience and growth across her ballet career and outside it and how her social view grows the more she listens and sees outside the ballet bubble. The book leaves the floor open for the discussion to translate into our real-world narrative, where we do see this happen on stages across the world.
The importance of the arts and their ability to help us through our most difficult moments is also shown throughout this story. It helps promote the beauty of the arts. How they can help us heal, how they can inspire with a single pirouette, and how they can free us from our past and help us grow into better people.
The Other Side of Perfect really holds family and friendship at its center. Teaching us that there is something beautiful in being passionate about your dreams, and no one should fault you for that, but on the other hand, remember to be humble and make time for those who are important to you. Your support system will be there no matter the time apart.
If you have not added The Other Side of Perfect to your TBR, I highly recommend you do. The high school drama kid and the theatre-loving adult in me found so much happiness while reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed being called outright at the beginning for the odd things we drama kids do!
Have you read this book? Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts on the book and its topics; I would love to hear from you.
*Thank you to the team at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NOVL for providing an ARC copy for me to review. All thoughts are my own.*