Irina used to be a dancer in Russia. She studied hard in both dance and academia. After her curvy body prevented her from becoming a professional ballerina, she became a professor instead. She came to the United States, taught at New York University, got married, had two little girls, and kept right on teaching. Irina enrolled her daughters in ballet when they were little and insisted they take it seriously. They do, and they love it, but they love other things too.
Katya (Katie) feels as though her older sister is prettier, livelier, and more talented than she is; Michaela (Mickey) is, in Katie's estimation, a better performer and a better daughter. Instead of being jealous, though, she idolizes her big sis, and they're pretty close.
When their parents move them from New York City to a small town upstate so Irina can work at a college as the head of the Russian Literature department, everything changes. Katie can't believe they are leaving their prestigious dance studio behind. She starts taking classes at the local studio, which is a lot more amateur and a lot less strict than her previous school. Michaela becomes popular at their new school and stops studying dance altogether, even though she's supposed to be practicing at home and preparing for her Julliard audition. Katie's not sure what to do - keep her sister's secrets? tell their parents? She knows she should be happy that Mickey's finding new interests, but she's upset that they're no longer doing the same things. For the first time ever, Katie really feels the three-year gap that separates her from her sister. She would do anything to close it up and get back in step with Mickey.
Simply put, The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman is really good. Speaking as a younger sister and a dancer myself, I give this book two thumbs up - while my feet are in first position.
If you liked this book, you will also like Peace, Love & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle. While The Year My Sister Got Lucky is told from the point of view of the younger sister, Peace, Love & Baby Ducks is narrated by the older sister. These two books compliment each other well as they both deal with young women reconsidering their lifestyles and priorities while dealing with the changes happening to and with their sisters and themselves.
Read my review of The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman at SparkLife.
Read my interview with Aimee Friedman.