Title: The Last Dance
Author: Kiki Hamilton (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 268 pages
Source: author for blog tour (click here for the entire tour)
Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Fair Wind Books
Rating: My heart zings~
I received a wonderful personalized and autographed copy of The Last Dance for this blog tour as well as a few bookmarks. The author's little trademark sentiment "I hope your heart zings" sums up this book for me. It is such a sweet little book.
At 256 pages, it is a fast read but it is loaded with heart. Kellen is the school's star quarterback. An injury leaves him relearning how to walk and talk. He has near perfect grades so to keep up he is assigned a tutor, Ivy Ly. Ivy is an accomplished musician on her way to an Ivy League school. Her parents are grooming her for medical school but her secret wish is to study music. Mira is Ivy's best friend and she is obsessed with Kellen.
Although I knew pretty much where this was going from the very beginning, I enjoyed the story very much. Ivy and Kellan are both quite likeable and Mira is a complete hoot. I loved that Kellan is a smart jock and not a dumb one. He does very well in school and in sports and is still loved after his accident when he thinks that he's not worth anything.
Hamilton speaks to a very real issue in sports - especially hockey and football - a condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. It is a disease resulting from trauma to the brain. As a mother of two sons, I was especially interested in this condition. It is wonderful that the author has given a voice to this disease through a sweet story. It makes you think.
The secondary cast of characters were also well done. Kellan's ex-girlfriend, Laurel, is a character that I love to hate. She is a mean girl cheerleader but isn't just a cardboard cutout character. CJ, Brandon and the others are also well written and a good part of the book.
The romance was nice and not overdone. Very believable in both progress and troubles.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other fan's of YA contemporary. Mixing seriousness with hope and love...it made my heart zing.
About the Author:
Kiki Hamilton is the author of THE FAERIE RING fantasy series and the YA contemporary novel, THE LAST DANCE. She believes in magic and the idea of hidden worlds co-existing with our own. Kiki lives near Seattle, though she dreams of living in London one day. Visit her website.