You in Five Acts

(No Series)

In the high-pressure months leading up to the performance that will determine their futures, a group of friends at a performing arts school look back on when an unexpected event upended everything. The moment that changed their relationships, their friendships, and their lives forever.

At a prestigious New York City performing arts school, five friends connect over one dream of stardom. But for Joy, Diego, Liv, Ethan and Dave, that dream falters under the pressure of second-semester, Senior year. Ambitions shift and change, new emotions rush to the surface, and a sense of urgency pulses between them: Their time together is running out.

Diego hopes to get out of the friend zone. Liv wants to escape, losing herself in fantasies of the new guy. Ethan conspires to turn his muse into his girlfriend. Dave pines for the drama queen. And if Joy doesn’t open her eyes, she could lose the love that’s been in front of her all along.

"It felt like our time had run out before it started."

Five friends belong to a posh ballet school; all are a little similar, all a little different. The book is divided into five acts, each told unconventionally in a blend of first and second person. The person narrating is in first person, and a different friend each act becomes the second person POV, constantly being called, "You" by the first-person narrator. This became easier to digest over time as I grew used to it, but it was still awkward for my reading brain. Artsy, sure. Workable? Sometimes. It gets easier after the first few chapters.

It does work to show alternating viewpoints of different characters in a fresh light each stage, though, so it's not all bad - just out there.

Ballet is fascinating, whether in the performing world or a school like this - the book takes as much time outside the studio as in it - but the setting still works.

A tragedy happening wasn't a surprise since each act ended with a preclude of what was to come, the ominous warning of pending disaster. Some of it felt a little rushed, and the story wasn't overly unique, but it was readable. The end tragedy DID surprise me though, I was figuring on the wrong thing happening to the wrong person. Not only was it sad, but it also pissed me off because of the injustice of it.

Definitely a story with feeling, but it could only keep my attention part of the time.

Received from First to Read in exchange for an honest review

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