Monday, June 24, 2013

[Blog Tour - Book Review] Passion and Pain

Title: Passion and Pain
Author: Kathy Petrakis
Date Published: October 5, 2012
Publisher: Antartis Publishers
Source: ARC
Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary Romance

Barnes & Noble

Book Information:
The first book in the YA /NA Contemporary Series -
Dancers and Divas.
Contains mature content - recommended for ages 15+  
Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit?  
These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage.  
But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

It's like a novel version of Glee and Step Up showcasing the hard work and experiences of arts students.

This story is about Elena Martinez, a female hip-hop dancer who gets a scholarship at a top Performing Arts school. The whole story is about her struggles, her experiences, her friends and even how she pushes herself to become better at everything she loves doing.

Story-wise, it was nothing astounding or ground-breaking.  Personally, I think the story is okay. It isn't really special, but it's not that bad either, which leaves it pretty much mediocre. It didn't leave a lasting impression on me but it was good for a few hours worth of distraction.

Aside from Elena's personal struggle in improving her craft, this story also has those usual antagonists which make Helena's life a little difficult. And the leader among the antagonists is Letitia, who just happens to be better at Helena at just about everything.

Character-wise, the first half of the story made me cringe. Helena has a tendency to be a Mary-Sue. According to Wikipedia, a "Mary Sue" character is a poorly developed character, too perfect and lacking in realism to be interesting. I don't know about everyone else but during the first half of the story, Helena was auditioning for this and that. She gets the lead role even though she's just a freshman. She sings, she dances and she even acts. And in almost every thing she does, a character just praises her out of nowhere that she seems almost perfect.

Also, the writing-style was a little turn-off for me. It was Dialogue-Centered - meaning, most of the scenes with a lot of characters only move along through the use of dialogues and not actual narration. More often than not, the subtext or what the character feels should not be expressed in a dialogue, but in a narration to give it more emotional resonance. I feel that subtexts were lacking in this one.

In the second half of the story though, Helena's Mary Sue-ish tendencies were curbed when she fell for Letitia's brother. I think she really fell for him that's why logic was thrown out the window and she became a fool in love. I didn't like the guy though. I was rooting for Seb the whole time. 

All in all, this book is a great way to kill a few hours. If you love stories about young-adults, friendships, performing and theater, this book is definitely for you.

- x o O o x - 

About the Author:

Twitter: @KathyPetrakis

Kathy Petrakis was born and raised in Sydney Australia by Greek immigrant parents. She always had a passion for the performing arts - dancing, acting and singing but they were hobbies giving way to a traditional professional career in banking. Before this book, her writing was used to entertain friends with her unusual, and often disastrous travel adventures from around the world.

By the hand of fate, Passion and Pain and Bittersweet were born while living in London, heaven for lovers of the performing arts. After launching Passion and Pain, she returned to Sydney for the launch of the sequel, Bittersweet.

For more information, visit

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, this book sounded so good from the synopsis! I love performing arts and books about it :) Then again, I'm really through with books that are "just" entertaining at the moment. I guess, though, once school starts again, I will feel different :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...