Every Step You Take [Book Review]

“Sometimes a series of small steps will bring you to the biggest leaps.” p. 191*

Title: Every Step You Take
Author: Jock Soto
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 0061732389
Pages: 288
Year: 2011
Publisher: Harper
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Rating: 3.5/5

Summary/Thoughts:

I’ve said this before but I will once again admit I find it really hard to critique memoirs. It’s someone’s life and who am I to judge it? Jock Soto has had an interesting life. He’s a half-Navajo, Half-Peurto Rican, openly gay dancer who left his nomadic family at 14 to live on his own in New York City and quickly became a star of the New York City Ballet. That’s an interesting life. The book begins before he is born, when his parents are young, and ends as he figures out life in his post-retirement world.

As you know, ballet has also been a huge part of my life. But I never once thought I would dance professionally, so I really have little knowledge about the life of a professional ballet dancer. It’s a lot of hard work filled with a little bit of glamor, and it was enlightening to spend some time in that world.

Unfortunately, I struggled with the writing style a bit. Soto is not a writer (in fact, he left school at a very young age) so I try to cut him a little slack. But there is only so much past perfect tense (“I had [verb]ed”) that a girl can take. I also think I wanted a little more action and a little less reflection. But that may be an unfair criticism.

Despite these flaws, I did enjoy the book overall.  If you are a fan of dance, or of coming-to-terms-with-my-identity stories, you will probably enjoy it too.

Buy It Now: Amazon; IndieBound

For Fun:

Watch Jock Soto perform on Sesame Street.

*Page numbers are from the ARC and may differ in the finished book.

 

4 thoughts on “Every Step You Take [Book Review]

  1. Jenny October 10, 2011 / 8:43 am

    An old friend of mine’s sister is a dancer with the Orlando ballet. I always thought that was so cool but I haven’t been to the ballet since I’ve known her. I’m surprised this guy didn’t find someone to write the book with like a lot of non-writers do.

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  2. Sandy October 10, 2011 / 12:47 pm

    Grrr…the Youtube clip keeps crashing my computer, but from the cover of the book, he looks quite attractive (but of course!). I like memoirs as well. Often the true stuff is better than if you make it up, plus then you can Google it afterwards.

    Like

  3. Linda October 10, 2011 / 2:30 pm

    I’ve never heard of him but this sounds like a book I’d like. Good review!

    Like

  4. zibilee October 10, 2011 / 2:33 pm

    I also have a really hard time judging memoirs because if you say something negative, it is almost like you are criticizing someone’s life and experiences. I do strive to be honest though, and sometimes it’s tough with these kinds of books. I am not sure if this would be the memoir for me, as I am not a dancer, and am not all that invested in the subject. I did like your review though, and think you did a great job with it. The honesty in your tone was wonderful.

    Like

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