3.5 2
by Robyn Bavati

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Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at age fifteen, they choreograph a plan to switch places and change the role that dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl

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Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at age fifteen, they choreograph a plan to switch places and change the role that dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected. And when someone threatens to reveal the truth, it could cost the sisters everything.

In this clever twist on the twin-swap story, Robyn Bavati delivers a poignant tale about changing your fate—one step at a time.

Praise for Robyn Bavati's Dancing in the Dark:
“An excellent debut novel.”—School Library Journal

“. . . teens from all backgrounds will recognize the family conflicts and the pull of a forbidden passion.”—Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hannah loves ballet, and Simone wishes she could quit. After they meet at an Australian dance camp and discover they look and sound identical (they quickly figure out that were both adopted from the same Brazilian orphanage in 1997), they decide to swap lives—Hannah so she can dance like she's always dreamed, and Simone so she can have the break from ballet she craves. Australian author Bavati's (Dancing in the Dark) novel speaks both to young dancers who can relate to Hannah's sheer joy for ballet and her endless energy to practice and perform, as well as to those who will understand Simone's jaded attitude, due to her professional training and the accompanying pressure. Even readers less personally invested in dance can appreciate Bavati's treatment of newly discovered sisterhood and the twins' Parent Trap–like scheme. The author takes several potent fantasies—to dance professionally, to have a new sibling, and to swap lives with someone else for a while—and plays up the tension all three create through the escalating complications in her protagonists' lives. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
VOYA - Debbie Kirchhoff
Unbeknownst to them, Simone Stark and Hannah Segal began their lives in Melbourne, Australia, as the result of a young nurse's deception. Simone and Hannah are identical twins orphaned in Brazil soon after their birth. The young nurse in the orphanage could not bear to see the girls brought up half a world away from each other and so decided to change another baby's destiny in order to send the twins to the same city, albeit with different adoptive families. The story fast-forwards fifteen years. Simone and Hannah have been growing up in loving families in neighborhoods just minutes apart. Simone is an accomplished dance student who wishes for the courage to end her dance studies but cannot face disappointing her mother. Hannah hopes for a chance to live her dream to be a professional dancer, but her parents are reluctant to agree to such a competitive and uncertain career. The girls meet at a summer dance camp and plan their own deception to switch families and solve each of their dilemmas. The plan works quite well until they realize they have been so focused on their own best interests that they have not considered how they may be hurting friends and families with the swap. This book reads like a light comedy film, a little unrealistic but entertaining and not so over-the-top as to be completely unbelievable. Reviewer: Debbie Kirchhoff
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Simone Stark and Hannah Segal, both 15, meet one another at Candance summer camp. They look identical and discover that they are twins who were separated at birth. Simone grew up in a single-parent family and, although a beautiful dancer, she is not interested in dancing as a career. Hannah, on the other hand, grew up in a traditional family and wants nothing more than to be a dancer if only her family would agree. They come up with the perfect plan; Hannah will take Simone's place in class while Simone takes a break from dancing. Since no one knows the girls are twins, they are able to pull off their plan fairly easily. Neither girl is looking forward to returning home, so they agree to swap places when they go back to Melbourne. Hannah lives with Simone's mom and goes to a premier dance school while Simone lives with Hannah's family and attends a regular high school. The ploy falls apart when the teens' boyfriends think they are being two-timed, but everything works out in the end. An enjoyable story with believable characters.—Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews
The Parent Trap goes to the ballet. A worker in a Brazilian orphanage gives identical twin babies, slated to be adopted by different parents in different parts of the world, a chance to meet again by ensuring they both end up placed with families in Melbourne, Australia. Fifteen years later, summer dance camp roommates Simone Stark and Hannah Segal immediately notice their striking physical similarities and conclude (with the help of a quick DNA test) that they are identical twins separated at birth. Their similarities end with their appearance, however. Shy, studious Simone would love to give up her spot at an elite dance school, but her rigid single mother won't ever listen. Outgoing Hannah wishes she could turn her extracurricular dance into a career, but her book-publishing parents want her to take academics more seriously. After successfully switching identities at camp, the teens prepare each other for trading families. The ups and downs of juggling new friends, boyfriends and parents are predictable yet satisfying. Catholic Simone's struggles with navigating a Hebrew school and Hannah's fears of getting kicked out of dance school for lack of talent create a light tension, while text messages from an unknown sender who threatens to reveal their secret add a hint of mystery. Just like the Disney film, there's clean fun as sisters bond and romance builds. (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Pirouette 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gosh, I just loved this book. Its a little cheesy, but the classic twin-swap story is brought to lif e with the dancing elememt and the fabulous storytelling. I love robyn bavatis other book, dancing in the dark, as well. Read these books! Especially if you are a dancer!!!!!!!!!!
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux and Netgalley.) Identical twins Hannah and Simone were split up when they were adopted by different families from a Brazilian orphanage, but thanks to a nurse at the orphanage both ended up in Melbourne Australia. Now 15-years-old, both girls have a gift for dance, but while Simone attends an exclusive dance academy, Hannah has only been allowed to dance part-time as a hobby. When they meet at a dance summer camp, they can’t quite believe what they immediately know is true – that they are identical twins. Simone wants something more from her life though, whilst for Hannah it is all about the dance, and so they decide to switch lives. After dance camp Hannah goes home to Simone’s mother and goes to Simone’s dance school, while Simone goes home to Hannah’s family, and goes to her regular high school. How long can the girls keep up the pretence though? When will they get found out? And can Hannah ever be as good of a dancer as Simone? This was an okay story of identical twins who were split up, but found their way back to each other through dance. Simone and Hannah were quite different characters. Simone was more reserved, and had ambitions other than dance, whilst Hannah loved the spotlight and wanted a career in dance. I was surprised that when they swapped lives people didn’t realise that something was going on, as I can’t imagine pretending to be someone else is very easy. I felt quite sorry for Simone whose mother pushed her a lot, and I also felt sorry for Hannah, who felt that she didn’t have the opportunity to do what she really wanted to do. Switching lives seemed like quite a drastic option though! The storyline in this book was okay, and I liked how the two girls found each other, although it was very reminiscent of the film ‘The Parent Trap’. The author did comment on this in the book though which was good! I wasn’t sure that the girls could really get away with switching lives, and they did run into some problems, but things did seem to be relatively easy for them, which I wasn’t sure was really very realistic. I thought the ending was okay, although again, I was surprised that there weren’t more fireworks, I honestly believe that my mother would never forgive me if I tried to pull something like that, but Simone and Hannah seemed to get away quite lightly really. I was pleased that there was a happy ending though! Overall; an okay story about twins discovering each other through dance. 6.5 out of 10.