Ambitous by Monica Mckayhan
Marisol goes after her dream and auditions for Premiere, the exclusive performing arts H.S. She'ss accepted into the dance program. On Marisol's first day she meets Drew, a drama student. The chapters alternate between Marisol and Drew. Both characters are very likeable. The author does a good job of balancing the story from the two view points. I was pulled in by the great back stories of the characters. Going to Premiere for Marisol, means not going to school with her best friends for the first time. She also must commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Drew gave up being a basketball star to pursue acting. There's a bit more behind both stories, making it very easy to care about them.
Drew was my favorite. Thanks to basketball, Drew was very popular at his old school and he gave it all up for to try his hand at acting. I really liked the idea that Mckayhan might be making drama as respected as a sport to some readers who may have dismissed it in the past.
Marisol and Drew's stories mesh well together, as do their friends. Ambitious is a good story with the right amount of drama making for a great page turner. This is the first book in this series and I am looking forward to watching the characters grow.
Looking back on Ambitious I realized many of the problems I had with novel had more to do with editing.
On page 11, Marisol references Premiere or Premiere High School, five times. It happened again on the next page. It was turning into a bad drinking game, I came very close to putting the book down. Thankfully this over use toned done some.
Marisol is Mexican and on occasion she would speak Spanish to family and friends.
Hola, Mrs Hernandez
Hola, Mari, Coma esta? Luz's mom asked how I was doing as she opened the back door and let the smoke out.
"Estoy, bien" I told her I was okay.
A pet peeve of mine is an instant translation of a foreign language, especially when its a greeting. The context of the conversation is more enough for a non Spanish speaker to get the gist of what is being said. Also I am pretty sure that "estoy" would never be used outside of the classroom.
If any of these issues were caught, Ambitious could've been that much stronger.
Since I want to end on a positive note, I'll take a moment to point out the great cover. It tells the reader exactly what the story is about and I think dance fans will love it.