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A bold and emotionally gripping novel about a teenage Latinx girl finding freedom through dance and breaking expectations in 1980s Minnesota.
When sixteen-year-old Rosa Dominguez pirouettes, she is poetry in pointe shoes. And as the daughter of a tyrant ballet Master, Rosa seems destined to become the star principal dancer of her studio. But Rosa would do anything for one hour in the dance studio upstairs where Prince, the Purple One himself, is in the house.
After her father announces their upcoming auditions for a concert with Prince, Rosa is more determined than ever to succeed. Then Nikki--the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop--leaps into her life. Weighed down by family expectations, Rosa is at a crossroads, desperate to escape so she can show everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes. Now is her chance to break away from a life in tulle, grooving to that unmistakable Minneapolis sound reverberating through every bone in her body.
About the Author
Vanessa L. Torres is a Latinx writer who has worked as a flight medic and currently works as a firefighter paramedic. She's a founding member of the B.R.A.V.E. Foundation, a volunteer organization that works with firefighting and medical personnel in developing countries and is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary International for her work in Guatemala. Vanessa is also the co-coordinator of The Olympia Writers Group, a critique group with one-hundred-plus members, and an active member of SCBWI and The Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Transplanted from Minnesota, she is married to another firefighter paramedic and they live in the Pacific Northwest with their nine-year-old daughter. This is her debut novel.
"Firmly rooted in era and place, interwoven with Spanish and filled with vivid, frequently gritty, sensory details and suspenseful subplots, the novel powerfully depicts Rosa’s emotional voice, deep love for Gloria, and struggles toward understanding, acceptance, and joy."—Publishers Weekly
"Realistic with a beautifully hopeful ending, Torres’ historical novel will dance its way into readers’ hearts."—Booklist
"A powerful story of overcoming expectations with a hopeful ending."—Kirkus
"With masterfully drawn characters, complex relationships, and gripping prose, Torres has given the world a story that will cling to hearts and minds long after its final words. Hauntingly gorgeous."
—Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times-bestselling author of A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
"Torres crafts characters so real I can feel their heartbeats as strong as Prince's "Purple Rain" guitar solo. You won't forget this incredibly compelling story that goes beyond a girl just finding out who she is—but how to be the change the world isn't ready for yet. A must read for anyone with a heart."
—Dante Medema, author of The Truth Project and Message Not Found