Monday, April 01, 2013

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

This book delves into the world of company ballerinas in detail and makes you feel apart of the drama. If you have no interest or connection to dance, this book might not be for you, but if you have an open-mind and are interested in a young girl trying to find her place in the world, pick up this novel.

Since she was fourteen, all Hannah Ward has known is the Manhattan Ballet. For most of her life she lives, breathes, eats, and drinks ballet. One day, though, she leaves to visit her cousin's bar and meets Jacob, a young and interesting musician. He opens her eyes to the fact that she lives in New York, but has never seen the city. She's so busy with ballet that she never has any time to have a life. While she's trying to figure out if she can have ballet and a life, she meets Matt, an attractive young man who is obsessed with all things ballet. In the midst of trying to see if boys can fit in her busy schedule, Hannah struggles with trying to get solos and a promotion in the company and deciding whether or not she still feels as passionate about ballet as when she first started.

This novel is heavy on the details about being a part of a dance company. There are a lot of dancing terms and the vast majority is about her trying to win parts, dancing, and the drama of rival dancers. While it does a great job showing what that life is like, it can get a bit tiresome if dancing isn't your thing. The character of Matt also comes and goes at random intervals and doesn't seem to do much as a character to add to the story. I understand that Jacob wasn't in the novel that often to show how little time she has, but it he also could have been a stronger presence. A little bit more might have driven home how much she was missing.

In the end, this book is a great window to the world of dance companies. At the same time, it explores the personal struggle of realizing everything you've built your life around might no longer be your passion and where can you go from there. It's a good book, just be prepared for a lot of dancing.

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