In this raw, searingly honest debut young adult novel, a former aspiring ballerina must confront her past in order to move forward from a devastating fall that leaves her without the use of her legs.
Genie used to fouetté across the stage. Now the only thing she’s turning are the wheels to her wheelchair. Genie was the star pupil at her exclusive New York dance school, with a bright future and endless possibilities before her. Now that the future she’s spent years building toward has been snatched away, she can’t stand to be reminded of it—even if it means isolating herself from her best friends and her mother. The only wish this Genie has is to be left alone.
But then she meets Kyle, who also has a “used to be.” Kyle used to tumble and flip on a gymnastics mat, but a traumatic brain injury has sent him to the same physical therapist that Genie sees. With Kyle’s support, along with her best friend’s insistence that Genie’s time at the barre isn’t over yet, Genie starts to see a new path—one where she doesn’t have to be alone and she finally has the strength to heal from the past.
But healing also means confronting. Confronting the booze her mother, a recovering alcoholic, has been hiding under the kitchen sink; the ex-boyfriend who was there the night of the fall and won’t leave her alone; and Genie’s biggest, most terrifying secret: the fact that the accident may not have been so accidental after all.
Content warnings: Being newly paralyzed from accident, parental alcoholism, abortion.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and author Joy L. Smith for allowing me to be on this book tour!
Author Joy L. Smith does a wonderful job of fully pulling you into a read. Genie was written as this real and tangible character and it was hard to separate from her at the end of her story. We see Genie go through so much and I definitely felt like the ending that we get is suitable. This book also dealt with the darker topics of alcoholism and domestic abuse and it was hard to read at times but did not feel unnecessary to the story being told. I truly cannot wait to read more of Smith’s works.
Joy L. Smith is a childcare professional and lives in Queens, New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, she has a bachelor’s degree in human development and differences, with a specialization in communication disorders. She’s been writing since she was a teenager and has been mentored by Ibi Zoboi, Radha Blank, and Emma Straub through the Girls Write Now program. Turning is her debut novel.
Synopsis Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.” Lou never believed in superstitions or magic–until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market. The market is a place Lou has only read about–twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything–from the food and […]Read More
Synopsis Victory is the only option. Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the […]Read More
Synopsis Prepare to die. His kingdom is near. Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected […]Read More
Synopsis Lean into your wicked side in this full-color graphic novel series about a middle-school super villain (in training) who must choose between saving his town and doing the most horrific thing of all–teaming up with the good guys. Hi! My name is Steve L. McEvil, and I am THE GREATEST SUPERVILLAIN IN THE WORLD! […]Read More
Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard Release Date: May 10th, 2022 Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books Genre: Young Adult Thriller Pages: 336 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | Indiebound Synopsis In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of […]Read More
Duet by Elise Broach Release Date: May 10th, 2022 Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery Pages: 304 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | Indiebound Synopsis A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, […]Read More