Indigo has just one Wish this year: to get into the prestigious New York School of Ballet. Her girl friends and her crush Jesse have a way of dragging her out to have some fun just when she feels she needs to concentrate on ballet. It’s hard not to want to get coupled up when all her girl friends seem to be going that route, but Indigo wants this so bad she is willing to ignore all of Jesse’s messages for weeks even after they finally get together.
Her focus takes a nasty turn when she discovers her mother has no control over how much alcohol she imbibes. She is not only unpleasant to be around Indigo, but downright abusive to Indigo’s younger brothers Charlie and Brad. Their father doesn’t help by being absent most of the time and being oblivious to his wife’s serious problem. On top of that, archenemy Marlene wants everything Indigo wants, including Jesse. Should Indigo go for her dream or fix her family?
Book I of The Indigo Dreams series is a story about a young girl struggling for focus and balance in the midst of a chaotic and destructive home life.
Grier Cooper draws on over thirty years of dancing experience to bring Indigo to life. Most teenagers already have a hard life, what with the pressure to do well in school to get into college or to do well at a swim meet to impress a scout and then trying to fit in with their peers at the same time. When you add in an alcoholic and abusive parent paired with a mostly absent one plus the pressures of being a ballerina, how does a girl survive? Ballerinas are not normal girls. Anyone who is familiar with the world knows they must watch what they eat, how they dress, how and when they practice, who they hang out with and so on and so forth. Distractions of any kind are a big no-no. Cooper is able to capture Indigo’s desire for structure and to be a normal teenaged girl through her strict ballet teacher Miss Roberta, who offers some peace and stability in her life and her girl friends, who offer the normal teenager experience.
Indigo tries to please everyone and the most difficult person to read his her mom. Ballet class is simple. Her mother is unpredictable. With her schedule filled to the brim with activities, sometimes it’s hard to see that her mother has a problem. But when there’s no other way for their family to go on, Indigo knows her mother is going to need professional help. Here is when you see her the most torn. Where do you define the line between fighting for something you love to do and fighting for someone you love? Do you drop your passion for someone you care about? For Indigo that would mean not moving to New York so she can stay and be with Jesse or sacrificing her ballet time to help her mom. She cares about all of these things, but in her heart there’s only room for one. How does she choose? You can really feel the tension and inner conflict going on within Indigo.
The tension and conflict makes you wonder what Indigo will decide in the end, but sometimes the number of girl friends becomes distracting to the plot. Numerous girl friends makes it difficult to keep track of. It’s almost more believable that an extremely focused ballerina would not have that many girl friends. It’s understood that the girl friends reveal that Indigo is a caring person and has spent a lot of her life pleasing those around her.
When you find out what Indigo decides to do in the end, you can feel that even after she has made her decision, there’s a part of her torn again and then you are glad there’s going to be another book so her story doesn’t have to end here.