Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In the Air by Crystal Serowka

(The City series, book 1)
It all began on a New York City sidewalk. It was so surreal. Juilliard, the enormous brick building that held my dreams and the possibilities of my future. I was prepared for the challenges ahead. What I didn’t expect was to lose my focus the second I met him. Living the dance was no longer the important thing in my life.

The City opened my eyes, but he transformed me.

Two dancers. One big city. He was determined to make a new start. She was ready to make it in the ballet world. Neither expected love to play a part in achieving their dreams. They also didn’t expect it to be so destructive. Samson and Natalia took the leap anyway, not worrying about the fall.

For 14 years, dance was my life. I took 2-3 classes per night, five days a week; so it should come as no surprise that I read any and every dance related book I can get my little hands on. I get so anxious to be absorbed in the world of pointe shoes, barre class, and rigorous rehearsals again that sometimes it causes my expectations to be a little high. I wish I could just tell the ballerina inside of me to calm the fuck the down, but I’ll be honest…she has yet to listen to me.

In the Air is an enjoyable debut novel from Crystal Serowka that centers around Natalia and Samson, two Juilliard ballet dancers trying to make their dreams of dancing professionally come true – and avoid anything that could throw a wrench in their plans.

Enter said wrench; they immediately develop feelings for each other and are thrown into a tumultuous relationship. Natalia is trying to keep up the walls she has built around herself, and Samson is struggling with the fact that he has developed strong feelings for a girl he just met – a girl who definitely isn’t like his girlfriend back home.

I don’t typically like stories that involve cheating because it makes me mad, sad, frustrated, pissed off, and wanting to throw my iPad against the wall. This story is an exception; the way Samson handled his feelings towards Natalia didn’t make me dislike him, not one bit. Crystal painted a wonderful picture that allowed the reader to see just how at war with his feelings he was – he didn’t want to hurt his girlfriend, but he couldn’t stay away from Natalia. The way he handled it made me actually like him more! Yeah – I couldn’t believe it at first either! I love Natalia and Samson together, and while they go through their fair share of ups and downs, their relationship ends up being pretty cute and heartwarming.

Now, since I’m being honest – as much as I adore Natalia and swoon over Samson, neither of them are my favorite character. What?! Yep, you read that right. My favorite character is Natalia’s roommate, Kingsley, and her “I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about me” attitude. She adds a little grittiness and is the type of girl who doesn’t make any qualms about who she is; she owns it. I kind of despised her at first but she grew on me, chapter by chapter, and pretty soon I was eagerly anticipating the next time she would somehow be involved in something…anything!

There are only a couple things that I take issue with – the first being the somewhat insta-love between them. I kind of expected the story to span over a longer time frame, and their relationship does feel a little rushed. I also hoped to have a little more dancing in the novel, and while I know that the main focus is supposed to be their relationship, I just wish there had been more dance-related scenes. Overall, this was a good, quick read with just enough angst to satisfy the masochist part of me and just enough love to make the hopeless romantic part of me smile and sigh in content.  

Purchase from Barnes and Noble (not available)

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