young adult book reviews & more

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Ten Cents a DanceAt only fifteen and a half years old, Ruby Jacinski is forced to take a job at the packinghouses in order to support her family. But even with that job, Ruby’s family is very poor. Ruby yearns for the time when they didn’t live in the Yards, when they had money, when her father was alive. She also wants more freedom from her strict mother. Opportunity comes in the form of bad boy Paulie Suelze. With help from him, Ruby lands a job at a Taxi-Dance Hall, where her wages are much higher than she could ever make at the packinghouse.

At the Starlight, the Taxi-Dance Hall, Ruby manages to make one solid friend, Peggy, whose experience guides Ruby and helps her out of some sticky situations. However, nothing could stop Ruby for falling in love with Paulie. Soon with success at the Starlight and a relationship with Paulie, Ruby finds herself caught up in the dangerous world of money and mobsters. Ruby is constantly torn between her loyalties to her family, her friends, and Paulie as well as her illusion as she struggles to discover what she truly wants in her life.

Ten Cents a Dance was certainly an amazing historical novel. it was placed against the backdrop of World War II, and the wartime atmosphere in America was very well-portrayed. But my favorite aspect of this novel had to be Ruby’s character. She is such a strong young woman, and even though she made many mistakes, she learned from them. If Ruby were a real person, she’d be living evidence of the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” On another note, I could Ruby’s love of dance and music fascinating. I swear, I have a vivid image in my head of Ruby “hoofing it.” Ruby has definitely won me over with her journey to find herself, and she has become one of my favorite fictional characters.

I think Ruby’s strength can be an inspiration to all of us, and I whole-heartedly recommend Ten Cents a Dance. Fans of historical fiction novels, such as A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, as well as coming-of-age stories like I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert will also enjoy this novel.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from author Christine Fletcher

4 munch(es) :

Steph said...

Oo, this is on my wishlist and on my TBR list as soon as I receive it! Your review only makes me anticipate it that much more XD


The Compulsive Reader said...

Ah, I loved this book. My mom read it and loved it too, which is amazing, since it's hard for us to find books we both like. I have to say though, I like the cover of the ARC I got better, though they are both very cool.

Nurin said...

oo, I can't wait to read this one, it sounds really great.

Ali said...

Nice review! I caught it on Librarything after adding mine and thought I'd jump over here to say hi from another LT ER-er (I'm Alirambles over there). Looks like we both enjoyed the same things about this one--Ruby's character, and the way Christine Fletcher made her setting "sing!" I'll be posting an interview with Christine on Worducopia next week.

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