Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pub. Date: 10.13.2011
Keywords: Fine Arts, Ballet, Relationships, Family, Competition
Description (from Goodreads):
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she’s deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem’s muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she’s chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.
AUDITION wasn’t exactly what I was expecting… it was even better.
I’m not sure I didn’t know this prior to reading, but AUDITION is told entirely in verse. I generally love novels told in this format, but I think it was a particularly good choice for this novel. AUDITION is about the pressures of becoming a professional ballerina while simultaneously leaving home for the first time, living in an foreign environment, and falling for an older, off-limits man… These are all rather intense events and nothing conveys intensity and emotion like verse. Interestingly enough, this format, with it’s patterns and movement, almost reminds of a dance, which is appropriate.
I’ve been reading quite a few fine arts themed novels lately (dancers, pianists, violinists, etc.) and each has had it’s own twist, but, much to my surprise, I found Sara to be the strongest main character of the group. At the beginning of the novel, I didn’t think things would end well for our budding ballerina, but she proved me wrong… and I ended up quite proud of her.
I found Sara’s story inspiring. For me, the aspect of the novel that was most important is the fact that, even though Sara was so invested in pursuing ballet, she still decided to do what was right for her. Forget that she left home and dedicated hours and hours of her life to ballet: when she realized her true passion was writing, she followed that dream. This might sound suspiciously like she gave up after experiencing the pressure of ballet, but, in Sara’s case, she wasn’t giving up, but growing up. I think many realize that they aren’t doing what they truly love in life, but instead of making the effort to follow their dreams, they don’t want to put in the effort or they worry that it’s too late for them. I think Sara’s story can teach each of us a thing or two about second chances.
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Review copy provided by publisher.