Becoming Aurora By Elizabeth Kasmer: Book's Review and Summary

Book Review: “Becoming Aurora”, by Elizabeth Kasmer, UQP (2016) | OZ

Becoming Aurora is a novel written by Elizabeth Kasmer and published by UQP in 2016. The story revolves around Aurora, who is a young dancer and student, trying to navigate her way through the complexities of high school life while pursuing her passion for dance. The novel explores themes of colorism, identity, cultural appropriation, and the power of art to bring people together.

Main Themes and Ideas

The novel delves into the theme of colorism, a topic that is still seen as taboo in many societies but is increasingly being talked about. Aurora, as a mixed-race girl, experiences discrimination from her own community because of her skin color. The novel highlights the beauty in diversity and the importance of accepting and celebrating one’s identity, regardless of the opinions of others.

Cultural appropriation is also a key theme of the novel. The novel questions society’s fascination with appropriating other cultures and how it can strip away the authenticity of traditions.

The novel also delves into the transformative power of art, showing how dance can bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together. Aurora discovers the power of art to communicate and forge connections, enabling her to overcome the barriers that have been put in place to limit her.

Writing Style and Message

Kasmer’s writing style is simple and straightforward, making it easy to follow the storyline. The author’s message is clear and impactful, showing the importance of acceptance, perseverance, and self-discovery. The story is told in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking, making it easy for readers to relate to Aurora’s journey.

The author does an excellent job of weaving the themes of colorism, identity, cultural appropriation, and the power of art into the storyline, enabling readers to connect with the characters and understand their struggles. The book’s message is powerful, urging readers to embrace their uniqueness and love themselves unconditionally.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the strengths of the book is the way the author tackles difficult themes that are still not widely talked about in many societies. The book ability to depict Aurora’s story in a believable, relatable and emotional way allows readers to consider and reflect on their own experiences.

However, the book’s weakness lies in the way it handles some topics, which may seem surface level, and readers who are familiar with these themes might feel they’ve seen this before. In addition, some readers may feel that the supporting characters lack depth and require more background, which could enhance the story’s realism and pace.

Comparison to Other Works

The novel shares several themes with other works, such as Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Despite these influencers, the way that Kasmer tackles these topics is distinct enough to give readers a unique experience.

Unlike Americanah, which is a more mature work for adults, Becoming Aurora is definitely oriented towards young adult audiences like The Hate U Give, giving them a way to connect with the story and the themes that resonate with them the most.


Overall, Becoming Aurora is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that tackles complex topics with depth and sensitivity, making it a must-read for young adults struggling with their identity and self-discovery. Elizabeth Kasmer’s writing style is simple and impactful, making it easy for readers to connect with the characters and the story’s message. The book’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, making it highly recommended to readers worldwide eager for new promising writers in the world of young adult literature.


What age group is Becoming Aurora aimed at?

Becoming Aurora is a young adult novel, and is best suited for readers aged 13 to 18 years old. However, anyone looking for an engaging and thought-provoking novel should give it a read.

What are some of the other themes explored in the novel?

The novel explores themes such as family, relationships, perseverance, and the transformative power of art.

Does the novel have a satisfying ending?

Yes, the novel has a satisfying

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