Review: A Time To Dance – Padma Venkatraman

Book cover: Veda is in a classical bharatanatyam pose and dressed in a red and green saree.

If you mention a book about dance, I’m sold. Seriously, I love stories about dancing. So, I knew I had to read A Time to Dance.

Veda is a bharatanatyam dancer, who loses her leg in an accident. She has to learn how to dance again and by doing so, learns more about what dancing actually means to her.

The story takes place in Chennai and is #ownvoices (the author is not disabled though).

The writing style is very powerful in describing the emotions and feelings that Veda has about her disability and her difficulties with learning how to dance again. The verse novel style allows these feelings and emotions to be conveyed to the reader. I got quite emotional at times, and thorough enjoyed the experience of reading this book.

The novel isn’t just something sad, it’s also funny at times and includes sarcastic remarks from Veda. Veda is an amazing characters. It was so interesting to see her development and to learn with her what dancing can mean to a person.

I don’t know whether verse novels are a suitable medium for dance topics or whether I just had luck with the two verse novels I’ve read (the other being Sea Foam and Silence). All I know is that this novel really brought to paper how I feel about dancing. The descriptions made me want to get up and feel the various emotions that occur when I dance.

The romance between Veda and the love interest is sweet and adorable, and I really enjoyed reading about it. They were so cute together. I also enjoyed reading about the relationship between Veda and her grandmother. There are not enough YA stories that include grandparents.

The author acknowledges that the draft of this book was given to people who were disabled, medical experts and artists. I think this shows in the book, since the quality of the portrayal of the different characters and events is marvelous.

And I just have to say it: the cover is gorgeous!

So if you’re looking for a fast and beautiful read, I recommend getting this book. Seriously. It’s splendid and really got to me. After reading this book, I just wanted to dance and recommend this book to everyone (not at the same time though).

5 stars

Have you read A Time to Dance? How do you feel about verse novels? Do you have any recommendations for stories about dancing for me?


19 thoughts on “Review: A Time To Dance – Padma Venkatraman

  1. I normally am not a fan of verse novels, there are some I’ve liked but very few. However, I have heard so many good things about this one that I bought it! I haven’t read it yet but am hoping to next week.


      1. Finished and quite liked it. Most verse novels I feel like either the plot or the poetry suffer. This one did a good job of balancing them, especially incorporating the musical beat into the form of the poetry. I want to read it again before reviewing, but thanks for the recommendation!


  2. This sounds great! I’m adding it to my TBR.

    “There are not enough YA stories that include grandparents.” So true. We didn’t include grandparents in Anusha of Prospect Corner (MG, not YA), but it was something that we went back and forth about. It added a level of complication that I wanted to avoid (the collaboration was challenging enough as it was).


      1. I don’t know which verse novel I’d recommend. Sea Foam and Silence and A Time to Dance have such different stories but both fit to this medium. They also make for rather quick reads and are very direct with conveying emotions.


      2. I’ll probably wind up reading them both! I like to try a few different things in a genre/style before I decide I like it or not. Plus, I’ve heard great things about both!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s