Here’s another one that I’m so happy we chose for #BuddyReadsToDieFor because it was bumped on the TBR! It’s always so hard to judge when a backlist will be added into the reading each month and this has been the best way to guarantee they will.
Thanks to the publisher for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
WATCH HER FALL – Erin Kelly (Released April 1st, 2021)
Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.
Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.
But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall …
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
I have always been a fan of movies and books that have to do with ballet, and even better if they’re thrillers. Most people don’t realize how competitive the world of ballet is – one injury or one misstep and the role of a lifetime could go to someone else. Our main character, Ava Kirilova, has just landed the most coveted role in the world of ballet – dancing as Odette and Odile in Swan Lake. Dancing as two characters with two distinct personalities and attitudes that need to be portrayed in her movements. The paranoia Ava experiences as she thinks everyone is hoping she fails is really tense and makes the readers wonder, are they actually trying to ruin her performance or is it just the nerves?
I don’t want to go into too much detail as I think this is best to go into with just the information in the synopsis (which doesn’t spoil anything, thankfully!). While this is a thriller that will keep you on your toes (no pun intended but that’s perfect), the pacing is a bit slower and we get equal amounts character study and suspense. I loved going deep into the minds of these dancers and it’s amazing how cold and calculating they can be when it comes to their careers and the competitive nature of their roles. The dedication and discipline that go into being a ballerina is all-consuming and becomes their lives.
Erin Kelly captures all of this perfectly in WATCH HER FALL and she remains an auto-buy author for me. Give me more crazy thrillers like this. If the pacing isn’t quick enough for you I highly recommend holding out until the ending, because wow. That was worth the build up that it took to get there!