Take the Lead

Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel - Alexis Daria

I enjoy Dancing With the Stars, so when I saw this book, I had to read it. Gina is a professional dancer on "The Dance Off." She is paired with Stone. Stone is a reality star. He is known as the "quiet" one on his family's reality series. He has 3 sisters and 3 brothers and along with their parents live completely off-the-grid in Alaska. 
I enjoyed their interactions. I liked seeing Stone transform from very quiet, reserved to much less quiet and more outspoken in regards to his needs. The realization that he was unhappy and something needed to change. His needs have always come last, since he did whatever his family needed. I wanted him to stand up for himself. He does, in a way, but not in the way I would have wanted him too. Circumstances beyond his control helped much more than him having (getting) a backbone. 
I liked Gina's work ethic and her personality. She is driven and has goals. Her "daddy issues" played a huge role in some of her worries and decisions; she gave her absentee father way too much power I thought. Attention is paid to the "sexy" Latina stereotype and how Gina is very careful because of it. Gina happens to be Puerto Rican. I also thought this was poignant because of hurricane Maria and what is happening in Puerto Rico right now. 
I will admit to wondering who would be the one to compromise and how would a compromise would work. I thought their compromise worked well for them, it was on both sides, not just one. I did think the whole issue with Stone and his "off-the-grid" family's show was glossed over, forgotten, and resolved too quickly. It does make a point: how "real" is reality. I can say as someone who likes reality TV (Survivor! DWTS! The Bachelor/ette!) I do realize that they are scripted and edited. How much? That's up for debate. 
Good secondary characters (why did the vindictive bitch have to be a figure skater??!!). I was invested in the story.

eARC courtesy of St Martin's Press (Swerve Imprint) and NetGalley.
Published on Oct 3rd.