Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Find: When the Stars Go Blue

First, in the interest of total disclosure, I should say that the author of the book I'm about to describe is a friend of mine.

When the Stars Go Blue, by Caridad Ferrer, is easily one of the five best books I've read this year. And when you take into account that this is the year I discovered Julia Spencer-Fleming's amazing Millers Kill mysteries, not to mention the awesomeness that is Miles Vorkosigan, that's saying a lot.

Stars is a YA romance set in a competitive drum and bugle corps whose show for the season is based on the opera Carmen. The heroine is Soledad, a serious dancer who's just finished high school and has a professional career awaiting her. She's touring with the corps to spend more time with her new boyfriend and get a new experience while she makes up her mind which professional opportunity to pursue. The plot echoes Carmen, as the boyfriend turns possessive, though since this is YA romance rather than opera, it doesn't go quite as dark. But there's heartbreak enough that I wept, nonetheless.

I'm a musician myself, not on the same level as the characters in this story, but I did competitive marching band in high school, and I sing alto in what, if I do say so myself, is a better-than-average church choir. And one of the things I loved about this book is how Ferrer brings the mentality of a performing musician to life, that transcendent feeling when it's like you're a conduit for something far larger than yourself.

An amazing book on so many levels. Go read it.

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