I just couldn’t resist this book when I saw it mentioned on Twitter. Ballet? Sign me up. Boarding school? Sign me up. Spies? YES! All this combined sounded like a dream come true, and I can honestly say that it was. There were a few elements that had me not happy (namely Willow and Madam), but in overall this was a magical and sparkly experience with tons of adventure, kick-ass lessons, and plenty of dancing.
When we meet Milly she is not the happiest. Her mom has disappeared months ago, Milly quit the ballet school due to some mean girl who kept acting like she was constantly being manhandled by Milly and so her experience there sucked. But she is getting a new chance, and I was just delighted when that letter came in. So mysterious, and it reminded me a bit of Hogwarts and how the young wizards/witches get their letters. I loved how Millie, despite being suspicious, took the chance and went for it.
I loved the school, I loved how they combined ballet with spying. Taught the kids all sorts of self-defence, about weapons, about spying and how to do it, but at the same time also taught them ballet and held competitions and rehearsals. It was just the best cover as ballet dancers have to go everywhere for competitions and schools and whatnot. They could easily go do ballet and in the mean time spy and do covert missions. Perfection!
I loved seeing the teachers (well, not Madame), though I do wonder how the cook got a job there, maybe because she is Topsy’s mom? Otherwise who in the world would hire her, I am surprised no kids have died yet. A cake with mayonnaise and other stuff that shouldn’t be in a cake? Um…
There are also plenty of twists and turns in regards to the school, to the evil villain (and his criminal school which I loved btw), and what happened to Milly’s mom. You keep finding out things, and then being hurled to another truth when you get further in the story. Yes, this story will keep you on your toes.
The ending was just super exciting and I loved the power of friendship. I wish I could have seen Milly’s performance, from what we read it is a magical experience. I loved the truths we got and seeing the true villain (I hadn’t expected that person at all).
Oh, and I would love that phone. Though hopefully my mentor is less grumpy than the one that Milly got. 😛 But it sounds like such a cool experience to have someone you can ask for anything (well, unless it is classified).
There are also tunnels! I love it when a story has a building with tunnels leading to all sorts of places.
I loved Milly’s friends, and then especially Lottie. She is so sweet and kick-ass. Really, you don’t want to mess with this girl. I was delighted that Milly was able to make friends so easily and found a group of people she could trust and be happy with.
But, sadly, I am deducing 0.5 stars for two people, Madame who was just the meanest and rudest person ever and she was a teacher. How she let Milly do pointe in shoes that WERE TOO LITTLE FOR HER. That could probably end a career given how your toes just get nommed by the shoes. OK, sure later we find out some things, but still, booooooo.
And then there is Willow. Yep, the attention seeking insert mean words from the first part of the book is also at the ballet school, sadly. I was really unhappy with this event and even considered stopping reading. Sorry, I am just not in the mood for sad little girls who are jealous and act mean and hurt people. But I kept reading and hoping it wouldn’t get too much. Sadly, there were quite a few points were I just wanted to stop reading. Willow did ruin my experience in this book, and sorry her sad sad sobstory at the end, please Willow, go away. Maybe harsh, but I have been bullied in the past (a lot) and there is one thing I don’t want in a story, it is the bully getting some sort of sobstory, because oh no they don’t have parents, or their parents don’t care. And we should all feel sorry for the little insert words I am sorry, I don’t care. Bullies are bullies. Done.
So all in all this was an amazing experience. I flew through the book and I would have finished it if I wasn’t too tired and had to sleep. I am very excited about the next book, though I do hope that Willow will be out of it or at least far away. I would definitely recommend this book to all. If you love ballet, exciting events, spies, and friendship, be sure to check out this book.