When It All Synchs Up (Annick Press, Spring 2023)
When seventeen-year-old Aisha begins to feel increasingly numb and isolated at a racially exclusionary ballet boarding school, her mental health suffers leading to her first episode of dissociation. Shaken from the experience, she returns to her hometown of Toronto to visit her BFF/ex-dance partner, Neil. She discovers he’s in hospital with alcohol poisoning.
Aisha resolves to stay with Neil to look out for his sobriety. She scores a spot at the diverse modern dance program at the public performing arts school that Neil attends. When keeping an eye on his drinking becomes difficult, she enlists the help of Neil’s cute musician friend, Ollie.
Spending more time with Ollie, she’s inspired by how he’s so open about his past trauma through his music, allowing Aisha to let down her guard. This, along with creating her own choreography at school, become ways for her to process her abusive upbringing. But when Aisha’s estranged mother shows up to force her back to ballet, she must fight for the freedom to dance to her own beat.
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