When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer

Title:  When the Stars Go Blue
Author: Caridad Ferrer
Pages:  336
Genre:  YA/Teen
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer. [via GoodReads]
What originally grabbed my attention when I first heard of When the Stars Go Blue was the fact that the story takes place in Miami.  Being a South Floridian all my life I knew that recognizing all the landmarks mentioned throughout the book would make reading this story even more enjoyable. 

Aside from the awesome setting, I loved the world of dance depicted in these pages.  Soledad breathes and lives... dance - it is her world... and Ms. Ferrer expertly captures the ups and downs that can be associated with it.  Soledad was such a passionate, driven, and strong individual.  She's the type to live in the moment and when she truly believes in something, she gives it her all.  When she's asked by Jonathan to play the part of Carmen as a dancer in his drum and bugle corps she agrees not only for the dancing but also because of her fascination with Jonathan.  Their relationship is passionate and very intense but eventually starts crossing over into a place where you know cannot be healthy.  Jonathan is jealous and possessive and eventually this takes a toll on their relationship. 

This is a retelling of the opera Carmen. It is emotion-packed with very strong and three dimensional characters.  The rich descriptions of Soledad's dancing, Jonathan's passion for music and even Taz's love of soccer are so expressive and well done.  My only complaint (and it's a small one) is that the story lagged a little towards the middle, but otherwise, it was very, very good.  I was impressed with this retelling of Carmen and can definitely say that Ms. Ferrer did a phenomenal job in revamping and making this story her own... not to mention bringing it to the attention of YA readers.   This is a very moving and emotional read - one that will have you laughing at times and crying at others.  Don't miss out on it. 

My Rating:


Blodeuedd said...

The book sounds mice, and I love that simplistic cover. Beautiful but still telling something

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I'm struggling to connect the title and cover for this one, but I love all things dance so I may have to give this one a try, plus, I can't remember if I have ever read a story that takes place in FL. So that is a plus! :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Yah doesn't sound like my thing but I LOVE the cover and for some reason the name Caridad.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Hello Miami! :)

Book Club Reader said...

I read this book too, and I really enjoyed it! It really made me wonder who Soledad would choose--Jonathan or Taz? I think I was rooting more for Taz because Jonathat was a bit too intense. One of our reviewers will be posting their thoughts on this book fairly soon at
(stop on by if you want to join the team)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

I interviewed Caridad but sadly have not gotten a chance to read the book. I love the beautiful cover and Carmen premise. Thanks for the great review Nelly!

MissA said...

I adore this book, one of my favorites of the year! The cover is lovely, it gives off that flamenco vibe. The author writes so passionately about the arts, you can totally tell that she loves the world of dance, drum corps and music.

I've actually read a few books set in Miami, as someone who lives in the Midwest, I'm always jealous :)

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