Mia Foster Benelli is a mess. At fifteen and a half, she's torn between her two loves: ballet and Patrick, her best friend Nina's older brother. She lives in provincial Leicester with her mother Elena, an Italian woman whose stockbroker husband took off for London and another woman soon after they got to England, and who has struggled since the split to make ends meet and take proper care of her daughter. Now, Mia has to decide whether to try out for the Royal Ballet School in London when they can't afford the tuition, not even with scholarships. And when her "guardian angel" Patrick comes back on leave from the Royal Navy, Mia must finally approach him with the feelings she's kept hidden forever.Although Mia's dance talent and Patrick's looks and character are elevens on a scale of ten, the rest of the characters and plot are honest and realistic; the drama never feels contrived. Mia struggles with relationships, friendships, schoolwork, family, and career choices, makes awful mistakes, and deals with the consequences. There are plenty of high points too, and they're not all immediately followed by reversals; the story feels organic, though the school-year frame of the timeline makes it clear when things will build to a climax.That climax, though, is wrenching: just when Mia's about to have everything she ever dreamed of, it's all snatched away and she's left with nothing but pain. In search of peace and relief she tries to end her life. The last scene occurs in a hospital, where she hears doctors talking about a coma and a miraculous survival--thanks, perhaps, to a guardian angel.I was surprised by how much I got caught up in the story. It’s really that well done.