Saturday, August 3, 2013

Allegra by Shelley Hrdlitschka

AllegraSummary from Goodreads:

Allegra thinks being at a performing-arts high school will change her life and make her a better dancer. But high school is still high school, complete with cliques, competition and cruelty. Allegra's refuge comes in the form of a class she doesn't want to take--music theory, taught by a very young, very attractive male teacher. Soon all Allegra can think about is music composition--and Mr. Rochelli. But has she misunderstood his attention, or is he really her soul mate?


My thoughts:

I was very hesitant to begin reading this book. The whole student/teacher romance was something I personally didn't want to read. After finishing the book, I realized the book doesn't go there. It focuses  mostly on music, dance, and teenage confusion. 

I didn't know what to think of Allegra at first. Throughout the first couple chapters she was extremely judgmental towards others and demanding. She threw a hissy fit when her teacher Mr. Rochelli decides not to sign her drop papers. Even worse she forged the papers to get out of his class. He was kind enough to say he signed the release form, but then changed his mind. Allegra wasn't even gracious enough to say thank you for the save. I swear at times I wished someone would just put her in place!

As I continued through the book, I realized Allegra has social anxiety. She puts up a wall with people and is reluctant to let them in. I finally understood why she acted the way she did. 

Starting out in a new school gave Allegra the perfect opportunity to make friends. She meets Talia, Spencer, Molly, and Sophie. Once they find out Allegra's dad is a part of the band called Loose Ends, they want to meet him. I was uncertain if they truly wanted to be her friend or not. Sometimes it seemed they only cared about her father's band practices and autographs.
Allegra finds out her parents are separating. The comfort of making music with Mr. Rochelli makes her forgot about her home life. She able to confide to him about her home troubles. He even tells her about his own problems of how his mother died a year ago. Instead of the student/teacher relationship they had earlier in the year, it blossoms into a friendship. She interprets this wrongly and thinks that he might be in love with her. He makes it clear immediately to her of how she is his student and he is her teacher. Ultimately, her "friends" find out about the relationship Allegra and Mr. Rochelli have been having. They jump to the conclusion of it being more than friends. Allegra denies it, but they think otherwise. Everything spirals out of control for both of them.

The book almost had me in tears the last couple chapters. I wasn't expecting everything to unravel the way it did. Despite the lives of both Allegra and Mr. Rochelli being changed forever, the book does end on a fairly happy note.

Quote from book: 
"The pain is not so bad when someone else gets it. Part of me even wants to embrace the pain and remember those magical moments of composing, when the surge of music swept through is, intangible until the notes were on the page and then brought to life through the combination of instruments."

Rating: A

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