Title: Dream Chaser
Author: Angie Stanton
Let me start by saying I wasn't sure what to expect from Dream Chaser when I started it. The description made it seem similar enough to countless other romance novels out there: a girl and a boy who once upon a time were best friends, then something happens, they fall apart, years later their paths cross again, and BAM! love.
What I found was something so much richer, so much more compelling than just that. Oh, sure there are those elements (all of them), but Stanton took them, shook them around, and then twisted them in such a way that I just could not put Dream Chaser down.
Willow and Eli's story was funny, sad, exasperating, maddening, touching and, at times, just plain mesmerising. Willow is a cheerleader who used to dance. After a disaster during cheer practice, Willow clams up whenever she has to do her jumps, forcing her to quit the squad. But her problems really start when her old dance teacher, along with her choir teacher, decide Willow should be in the upcoming event of the town: a musical. But not just any musical; one directed by a Broadway man. Dancing has always been Willow's passion, and it takes is a while to find out why, exactly, she quit a few years back, because when she steps on to the stage for the audition, it's like she never stopped dancing. Wanting just a side part in the production so she can give her best friend a good excuse for not going back to cheer ever, Willow is stunned when the director tells her she has just gained the female lead in the piece.
Which is when things take a decided swing into 'disaster' land. Not only does the rest of the cast - along with her old cheer squad - now hate her for taking the place of the old lead after weeks of practice already, but the male lead of the musical is none other than Eli, her ex-best friend, and reason she quit dance to start with.
Eli isn't happy with the situation either, having to work so closely with the girl who crushed him. And it gets worse: the director insists on a steamy kiss onstage. Faced with the failure of the musical, which has turned into her new love, or facing her year-old guilt and resentment about Eli, both of them are forced into a situation neither expected to be in ever again. The only question is if their relationship will park at a wobbly friendship, or if they will have the guts to do what they didn't all those years ago.