Turning by Joy L. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: March 1, 2022
In this raw, searingly honest debut young adult novel, a former aspiring ballerina must confront her past in order to move forward from a devastating fall that leaves her without the use of her legs.
Genie used to fouetté across the stage. Now the only thing she’s turning are the wheels to her wheelchair. Genie was the star pupil at her exclusive New York dance school, with a bright future and endless possibilities before her. Now that the future she’s spent years building toward has been snatched away, she can’t stand to be reminded of it—even if it means isolating herself from her best friends and her mother. The only wish this Genie has is to be left alone.
But then she meets Kyle, who also has a “used to be.” Kyle used to tumble and flip on a gymnastics mat, but a traumatic brain injury has sent him to the same physical therapist that Genie sees. With Kyle’s support, along with her best friend’s insistence that Genie’s time at the barre isn’t over yet, Genie starts to see a new path—one where she doesn’t have to be alone and she finally has the strength to heal from the past.
But healing also means confronting. Confronting the booze her mother, a recovering alcoholic, has been hiding under the kitchen sink; the ex-boyfriend who was there the night of the fall and won’t leave her alone; and Genie’s biggest, most terrifying secret: the fact that the accident may not have been so accidental after all.
Content warnings: Being newly paralyzed from accident, parental alcoholism, abortion.
About the Author:
Joy L. Smith is a childcare professional and lives in Queens, New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, she has a bachelor’s degree in human development and differences, with a specialization in communication disorders. She’s been writing since she was a teenager and has been mentored by Ibi Zoboi, Radha Blank, and Emma Straub through the Girls Write Now program. Turning is her debut novel.
First off I wish to thank TBR & Beyound Tours for allowing me a place on this tour and to the Publishers for sending me a Netgalley Arc.
Well what can I say about Turning is that it is a young adult comtemporary novel which is not afraid to pull any punches and is Joy's debut novel. Our main character is Genie who has her world turned over after one particular event and to heal she must confront the past no matter how it hurts.
At first I was not keen at all on Genie as she seemed to me always angry at the world and her Mum who was trying to help Genie as much as she could even though she had made mistakes in the past. Genie began to be a nicer person when she met Kyle who too had an event that changed his life for ever but instead of stewing on things and getting angry he made sure that he got as much therapy as he could. In my view he was a better influence on Genie than her ex Nolan could ever be. To be honest I did not care for Nolan I found him very manipulative towards Genie and I was so glad she realised he was no good.
I loved how most of the story was centred around the world of ballet and how much Genie loved this world and through some adaptions she was still able to enjoy it. I found the last few chapters very tender and felt that Joy dealt with the topic in a respectful and loving way. For all these reasons Turning is getting 4 stars