I honestly had a love/hate relationship with this book. Ok, maybe hate is too strong of a word, especially since I didn't hate anything about it, I actually rather liked it, however there were definitely parts where I was somewhat disappointed as to where the story was leading and how it's main character was acting. I suppose that is a part of a lot of books (I should know that by now, eh?), I guess just fell in love with the beginning of the story and wasn't quite as in love when the book ended. Still an enjoyable read and one I know young girls will like.
Charlotte Kandel has created a story around a timeless life lesson: be careful what you wish for. 13 year old Daphne was dropped off at an orphanage right after she was born and grew up wondering what it would be like to have a family. She also grew up being in love with ballet and dancing and wished for a day when she had the time to practice and the money to take lessons. When a mysterious package arrives anonymously in the mail for her, containing a book about ballet and a scarlet pair of stockings, Daphne is perplexed, but intrigued, especially when she discovers that the stockings are magic.
When she wears the stockings, magical things happen to her. She begins to be great at ballet and most importantly, is adopted by a wonderful family right there in London. She is able to begin taking dancing lessons and life seems to be great, until greed gets ahold of Daphne. The stockings change Daphne, making her want more and more out of life until it doesn't matter anymore who she hurts in the process. She leaves her family to study ballet far away and actually begins to make it rather big in the ballet world, landing a great role, though leaves her family in the dark the entire time. She becomes selfish, arrogant, and pompous. When Daphne realizes she no longer likes herself or the life she now has, making her wonder just where the real Daphne went. She must overcome the power of the stockings to return to who she once was and who she really wants to be.
This really is an enjoyable book and I think young girls will really enjoy Daphne's story. The jacket is absolutely beautiful with swirly pink letters and gold foil, instantly making me want to pick it up. The direction I first thought it would go is not how the story ended up, leaving me a tad bit disappointed. I didn't like how wicked Daphne became, though I know it was to show just how much a material possession, especially one with magic, could rule a young girl's life. I do recommend this book to others, especially girls between about 8 and 12 and will be purchasing it for the library. I know it won't stay on the shelves long, just as much as I know I would like to see more from Charlotte Kandel!