This book is touted as being Save the Last Dance meets Perfect Chemistry and I can see where the comparisons came from. As a teen, Save the Last Dance was one of my faves and, as a high school librarian, the Perfect Chemistry books are some of my fave to recommend in my library. For the most part, this story lived up to that hype. Though not a dancer myself, I am pretty fascinated and like to read/watch movies about the dance world. Some of my favorite references to those things are included in this story, like Center Stage. One Two Three is the story of Natalya, a dancer who has had to move back to her babushka’s house after having to leave a performing arts high school after an injury received in car accident that killed her father. Luckily, she has a great friend in Becca, who she knows from having spent her summers at her grandmother’s house. Becca makes the transition to a new school and mostly new life a bit easier. Natalya meets Antonio and the good girl/bad boy love story ensues. Throughout the book, Natalya is trying to figure out how to accept her new role in the dance world and also trying to figure out what really happened in that accident with her father. She is also trying to deal with her mother, who is coping with the pain by resorting to alcohol. Natalya learns some major family secrets along the way and falls hard for Antonio in the process. This will be a story I can see many high school girls flocking to and I hope the story continues, maybe telling the stories of some of the other prominent characters in the book, such as Becca, James, Rita, etc. The story is easy to read and enjoyable, with just the right touch of drama and romance.
Who will I recommend this to? Any of my high school readers interested in romance, especially those who are also interested in dance. It will, however, appeal to those that aren’t interested in dance as well because that is not the whole story.
Drugs/Alcohol: There is some drinking among the teens, but it is shown in a mostly negative way. Natalya is also dealing with an alcoholic mother, which many teens can relate to.
Language: Did not find it terribly offensive, normal teen language.
Sex: There is sex talk and some romantic scenes, but nothing that is unnecessary or irresponsible.