I came across Pinkindle’s review – and then I had to get it. It’s not often that you find books with a main character on the asexual spectrum. Finding Your Feet is a lovely story combining dance with the difficulties that people face for being other than the norm. The blurb hinted at one of the characters having a cross-orientation (explanation of cross-orientation).
It’s book two of the Toronto Connections series but can be read as a standalone. It’s #ownvoices.
It’s a fluffy and relaxing read. The story’s main plotline is dance. The book lives through the tiny details that each character brings with them. These details are not mentioned at the beginning of the story and then ignored, but come up throughout the story. Details such as: gender dysphoria, learning to dance, coming out, clothing choices, tokenism, deciding which toilets to use, etc. The characters are not put into a diverse costume – they are diverse.
Not only the main characters undergo character development, but so do the minor characters. The minor characters continued living their lives off page and when the reader meets them again, they have not remained static. There are plenty of diverse characters in this book: non-binary, transgender, biracial, asexual spectrum, homosexual, biromantic, cross-orientation, etc.
The descriptions about couple dancing, especially those handling the traditional binary were excellent. I dance salsa as a lead and follow in my free time, and could relate to the portrayal of traditional couple dancing as well as to the feeling of freedom when one dances without caring about the traditional binary. The descriptions about how it felt for the main characters to lead or to be led, was something I could identify with.
A side note: I really loved the two songs that were mentioned in the book. Great music choice!
No. Nothing. I don’t have anything to criticise about this book.
Update: This review made me aware of the issues of a love arc between a former bully and their love interest. I agree with the reviewer that it was not okay that the person was encouraged to forgive and start a relationship with their former bully. It also explains that the trans representation is not satisfactory and criticises the underlying fatphobia in the book.
All in all
I’m worried that I haven’t done this book justice. It’s so beautiful and I don’t want to spoil anything. Days have passed and I’m still thinking of it, and recommending it to anyone who asks for a book recommendation. I don’t know what was better, the plot about the dance competition or the development of the different platonic, romantic and sexual relationships. I, for one, will certainly be getting the first book of the series, and if that one impresses me as much as this story, then I’ll get the next two, which will be published later on in the year.
I had given this book 5 stars previously, before being aware of the problematicness. I was very unsure whether I should dock the rating this much, but I just can’t give it any more than 2 stars (since 3 stars would already be a book that I found recommendable). I did like reading about the dancing and enjoyed that aspect, but I think it clouded my judgement on the rest of the book.
Trigger warnings: mention of bullying; a character is encouraged to forgive their former bully and give their relationship a chance; fatphobia; a character has had an abusive relationship in the past due to their gender identity; a mean and emotionally abusive parent character
Have you read Finding Your Feet? Do you want to read it?