84 ribbons - Paddy Eger
I received this book free from NetGalley for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions or the review of the book.

84 Ribbons by Paddy Eger is a great contemporary read. It isn’t in my normal reading comfort zone but it sounded good so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did because I enjoyed it thoroughly. The author paints a vivid behind the scenes picture of the ballet world. I loved the cast of players and the plotline of the story. 84 Ribbons is Marta’s story. It is about her struggles, triumphs, and the in between.

Marta is a young ballet hopeful who doesn’t have all that many resources. She is thrilled when she gets the invitation to join the Intermountain Ballet Company, a boarding school for dancers. The only thing that isn’t so great about it is the fact it will take her away from her mother and the only home she has ever known. She must learn to navigate her new world on her own. She doesn’t start off too well especially since she shows up late. She was unaware of the change made in their schedule. To make matters worse she is caught imitating one of the instructors. Things seem to calm down except for the fact that she is given all the parts that no one wants. Things get more complicated when she meets Steve and he wants to use her as one of his sources. She must navigate the school, both her and her instructors’ expectations, a budding romance, and the friendships she has made. When life gets tough she is going to have to rely on more than just her strength to get through. Will her dreams be realized? Or will she end up falling flat on her face?

I really liked 84 Ribbons and I look forward to reading more books more of Marta’s story in the future. I liked the fact that this wasn’t a rags to riches or emerging dancer gets her big chance and rises to fame and fortune quickly. I liked that there was a true struggle and one that the reader could identify with even if you are not immersed in the dance world. I liked the characters especially Marta. I like how she rises to the occasion or buckles down when she needs to. She is tenacious and isn’t going to let her dream go. I also like that there is struggle there it shows the nasty underbelly of the world. It shows a dancers struggle to remain perfect in every aspect of their lives. It even touches on the struggle to be a certain weight. It has some true to life examples of dieting, anorexia, diet pils, and bulimia. There is joy and triumph, sadness and pain, and everything in between. I found 84 Ribbons to be an engaging read. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good contemporary read