Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Passion and Pain

Title - Passion and Pain
Author - Kathy Petrakis
Series - Dancers and Divas #1
Genre - Young Adult New Adult
Publication - October 15th 2012
Format - Ebook Kindle


Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit? 

These are questions street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the cheeky and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage. 

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?


Two years later, Elena looked at the two bags resting on her single bed. The first one was a light blue duffle bag. She checked the contents against her list— tights, sports top, loose shirt, shoes, towel, spare underwear, toiletries. Check. She zipped up the bag and moved to the black backpack. Folder with blank paper, history textbook, English book, pens, diary. She tried to unfold the creases in the used history textbook but gave up quickly. She zipped it up, stepped back and looked at the bags on her bed. She would be carrying this load every day. She didn't care. It was worth it.


I was invited to read Passion and Pain by the author in return for an honest review. Elena is run over by a boy fleeing from bullies thus starts a friendship that will change their lives. Together the pair head off to start their new lives at the prestigious Montacrue Performing Arts School. They each have big plans for the New Year, acting, dancing, singing, and even sports. Elena instantly makes an enemy who hell bent on destroying her life on the first day. Elena finds new friends in Veronika a writer and Frankie an actress and singer.  Aside from Letitia things are going great for Elena she has great friends and she’s doing what she loves dancing and acting.

Letitia uses her singing skills to lure Frankie away from Elena in the end turning her against her and then leading her down a path of drinking and drugs. In Choir class Jay is attracted to the older piano player and doesn't see that her best friend is in love with her. Yet even with all the pain that Elena is feeling about losing her friend there is the positive, Elena befriends a shy ballet dancer named Anya. She has a chance meeting with Jay the piano player that brings a new relationship to life. As the school year rolls to an end Elena’s best friend Sebastien heads off to make a movie unknown about the relationship between Elena and Jay. During the summer Elena helps Jay write many songs and builds on their relationship by the time school rolls around. Will Elena be able to keep up her dancing and acting as well as juggle a new older boyfriend or will things come crashing down.

I've been on a dance show kick for years I have to watch So You Think You Can Dance every season including the auditions so when the opportunity popped up to read a dance book I was thrilled with the chance. Passion and Pain is filled with all kinds of emotions it pulled at my heart strings as Elena progresses through the book.  I like that the author Kathy Petrakis gives a peek at Elena and Sebastien’s first meeting it gave me a new perspective on them. The characters are so well written you feel like your living their lives with them. Elena is a great character who does a lot of growing up from the beginning of the book to the end. I have moments when I want to laugh with her, cry with her, even jump up and down screaming at her. It’s a great story that deals with the trials of being a teenager who happens to have a lot of pressure to do her best. The book does have a few adult situations so I would suggest over sixteen but I could see lots of teenagers and adults enjoying Passion and Pain. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

5 out of 5 Stars

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