Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

Book Review:

Oh how I wanted to love this story: it was good, there were no great mistakes until the very end but there was just some ‘oomph’ missing. But let me start with the fun! Gwenda Bond manages to give us a strong, well-developed heroine with a touch of daring, and avoids all of the YA/Teen tropes that take a strong female lead character and diminish her.

Jules is from a performing family: her father is a renowned tightrope walker, and the invitation to join Cirque American is going to offer them a new spotlight. But, the rival family, the Garcias, a well-known trapeze act may just steal that spotlight. Jules is unique in the world of tightrope walkers, a trained ballerina, she dons her red tutu and dances and spins across the wire, high in the air.

I loved the inset of the circus life, the training, the joy that Jules has on the wire. And I wanted more – the confident, daring, talented Jules, her work ethic, her devotion to her family and her unwillingness to get sucked into the drama between her family and the Garcias was wonderful. And she actually reaches out to Remy Garcia for help when various talismans of bad luck and ill will start to appear… who is sabotaging them, and to what end?

And it was a wonderful contrast – the skill and talent offset by the mysterious talismans – a strong display of how belief in something (good or bad) can derail your accomplishments, and Jules, usually so confident and sure in her own skill, rattled by the bad omens.

And that was a wonderful story until Remy and Jules find the culprit, and we have a very long and protracted explanation – the why, the who and the rather convoluted thought processes that comprised the sabotage. You had me until the very end, and then… *sigh*

Were it not for the ending, I would have gladly given this 4 stars. But the let down at the end, and that indefinable ‘something’ that would have given more oomph to the characters and story line, and we are left with an enjoyable read, great for a diversion and sure to please younger readers looking for something different with a likable heroine.

Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

Title: Girl on a Wire
Author: Gwenda Bond
Genre: Magic, Teen Reads
Published by: Skyscape
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 386
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 41 minutes
Rated: three-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance iTunes Downpour
See this Title on Goodreads

A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.

As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Gwenda Bond

Gwenda Bond writes books for young adults and possibly escaped from a classic screwball comedy. Up next are GIRL ON A WIRE (Skyscape, Oct.), about a daredevil heroine who discovers danger and passion lurking beneath the big top, and LOIS LANE: FALLOUT (Switch Press, May 2015). Her previous novels include THE WOKEN GODS and BLACKWOOD (Strange Chemistry).

She has also written for Publishers Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Locus Magazine, and the Washington Post, among others. She has an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and their menagerie.

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