Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Published: October 10th, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 294
Rating: 5/5
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?
[Book Description from Goodreads]
“Your job is not to have a life. Your job is to dance.”
            Hannah Ward has the life she always wanted. She’s a dancer (not a ballerina- there’s a difference) in the corps de ballet at the esteemed Manhattan Ballet Company. From early in the morning until well past dusk, Hannah and her friends spend their lives closed up in a large brick building, rehearsing and exercising and dieting and dancing and performing. They leave at night, sleep, and come back the next day to do it all over again. For them, there is no life outside dancing. They live in a city but do not call it home; they have relatives but do not call them family. There is one focus- dancing. There is one hope- promotion. Only utter devotion and unbelievable focus will get her there. When Hannah truly realizes the cost, she begins to question her dream.
            I absolutely devoured this book. And I’m still completely in love with it. Sophie gives us a backstage look at the goings-on of the life of a dancer. Behind the tulle and layers of makeup are girls who work and work and work sooo hard at what they do. Hannah left her family at age fourteen to go live in Manhattan. She didn’t go to prom, she didn’t have boyfriends, and her only companions are her fellow dancers. Venturing more than five miles outside the studio is frowned upon. Her life is dancing and her home is the theatre. It’s what every dancer dreams of.
With promotion hovering on the horizon, Hannah knows she will have to work harder, exercise longer, and lose even more weight. Then she meets Jacob. Jacob opens up a whole new world to her- a world she’s ignored and shut out from her life of dancing. Jacob introduces her to the amazing city she’s lived in for five years. He shows her his spontaneous dreams, and slowly Hannah realizes all that she’s been missing. And all that she will miss if she keeps her life on the track it’s on. She has to make the decision between a life of dance and a life in the outside world.
I loved Bunheads. Plain and simple. I loved seeing what dancing in the corps de ballet is really like, how difficult that life is. I seriously didn’t think people could still be that focused and devoted to one thing, but this book disproved that idea. I learned so much about ballet that I didn’t know, and it really gave me a new appreciation for those brave girls on pointe. I loved the romance between Hannah and Jacob, and I absolutely adored Jacob. Honest, the guy had an unrealistic, almost uncanny amount of patience with Hannah. She was so whiny at some points that any guy would have given up on her. But not Jacob.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Bunheads. It’ll sweep you into the world of ballet. The romance is fantastic, and the story will keep you entertained the whole time. There was a bit of profanity, some mild/moderate sexual content, and several mentions of female anatomy, as the size and shape of their bodies was a huge concern to the dancers. This overlooked, Bunheads is a great read. I might even pick it up again sometime. J

Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: Moderate- Heavy (includes the s-word, the b-word, the d-word, the h-word, and the f-word. Which pretty much covers all the bases.)
Violence: None
Sexual: Mild- Moderate (Hannah sleeps on her couch with Jacob- no sex. Some kissing. Mention of a dancer having to leave because she got herself pregnant. One of Hannah’s friends, Zoe, is known to act slutty. One of the dancers, Jonathan, is gay.)

1 comment :

  1. WOW!!!!!!!!!! Great review!!!!!!! So glad to hear you loved it!!!! I haven't read it but now I totally want to! The romance sounds sooooo sweet :-) Thanks for sharing!!!!

    Following your lovely blog! (I am now your stalker lol!)
    Feel free to stop by my blog if you have time!


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