Friday, November 25, 2011

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Title: Audition
Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Publisher: Penguin/Viking Juvenile
Release Date: October 13, 2011
Pages: 458 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it

When Sara is offered a scholarship with the prestigious Jersey Ballet, there's no way she can turn down the opportunity of a lifetime. But to take it, she must leave her family and friends for a strange city. Suddenly, she's thrust into a life of endless ballet class and rehearsal, of juggling schoolwork with hours in the studio, of constantly being critiqued, corrected, and judged.

Overwhelmed and lonely, Sara connects with Remington, a brilliant up-and-coming choreographer. Though he's too old for her, sparking scandal at the studio, Sara is thrilled to become Rem's muse. But as the secrets pile up and Rem's innovative dances start to attract wider attention, Sara wonders whose dreams she's making come true.

Debut author Stasia Ward Kehoe spins an intense and romantic page-turner about the deeply flawed yet irresistible world of ballet.

Review:

The scholarship to Jersey Ballet so she can become a better ballerina is supposed to be a dream come true for small-town Vermont girl Sara, but it's not turning out to be so wonderful. The other ballerinas with their sleek techniques and perfect movement make her feel inadequate and it isn't easy to juggle schoolwork with all the hours spent practicing at the studio. Miles away from her friends and family, her only comfort is her illicit relationship with Remington, a combination student/choreographer/teacher six years older than her. She's infatuated and creates wonderful dances with him, but is dancing her dream anymore? Could she have a new dream now?

Sara's character arc is a fulfilling one and the novel's style communicate her loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and other such emotions perfectly. The choice to write it in verse was a good one; it would not have been such a memorable novel if written in prose like most of the novel I read are. I felt bad for her because of how lonely she was and missed being at home, but she could be so frustrating! I nearly screamed at her multiple times about how bad Rem was for her, but it took her until nearly the end to realize it. It was all part of her character growth and self-acceptance, I know, but that doesn't make it not frustrating.

Audition is a slow-burning, character-driven kind of novel. Seemingly unremarkable and perhaps boring at first, it slowly warms up until the realization comes that hey, this is really good! Depending on how much one likes novels written in verse and such slow-burn novels, this can be a quick read or a very slow one. For me, it was quick; though there were six days between me starting the novel and finishing it, I read it for only three of those days and got through large chunks at a time, as large as two-hundred pages at once, because I could not put it own. I just had to see when Sara would realize enough was enough with Rem.

A lot of my friends are unimpressed by verse novels or don't care to read them because it's not their style. For those, I recommend looking for a library copy or online excerpt to try it out and see if this will be one they might like. If you're someone that can adapt to any style for the sake of a good story with a compelling heroine and, give Audition a second look. Also recommended if you want to learn more about the grueling world of ballet (and considering I want to learn more about dancing for an idea I have on hold, this was a huge help).

4 stars!


What am I reading next?: Die for Me by Amy Plum

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what to say about Die For Me. It was so much better than Twilight and yet it followed Twilight so close I didn't like it. It could have been way better if it wasn't so close to Twilight. *Sigh* It was an OK read.

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