Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Bunheads by Sophie Flack is the story of Hannah Ward, a nineteen-year-old dancer with the Manhatten Ballet company.  Hannah is a corp member but dreams of becoming a principal dancer.  Dancing is all Hannah has ever wanted to do; It’s all she’s ever dreamed about her whole life.  Then she meets Jacob, the cute musician who helps her see there’s more to the world than just ballet.  Competition is fierce at the Manhattan Ballet and this is what Hannah has always wanted... or is it?

First, let’s take a moment to admire that book cover.  It’s definitely one of my favorites and one I can’t stop looking at.  As a little girl I always wanted to take ballet.  I went through a phase of checking out every Satin Slippers book from our local library.  I love ballet: the music, the pointe shoes, the precision, the gracefulness... but this life was not to be for me and that’s alright.  There’s books such as Satin Slippers and Bunheads, as well as movies like Center Stage to get a peek at what it’s like to be a dancer in this world.

I really enjoyed Bunheads.  I loved getting this brief glimpse into the love, dedication and frustration a dancer feels.  Sophie Flack is a former dancer so all the details are there to make the backstage drama come to life.  The friendship/rivalry amongst the female dancers was very interesting too.  That was my favorite part of this book; that it did mostly focus on the female dancers friendship.  There was a love triangle with two men vying for Hannah’s attention.  Usually I’m not for love triangles but they were not the main force driving Hannah.  Dance was and eventually whether she would continue to pursue her dream as a principal dancer, so the love triangle wasn’t too big of a deal for me.

I feel like Sophie Flack could of delved deeper into what drove Hannah to be so devoted to dance and why she began to question that devotion.  But this is Flack’s first novel so I won’t criticize it too much.  Overall I enjoyed it as a quick read and its insight into ballet.  I’m looking forward to more from Sophie Flack and I hope she continues to tell us more stories within the dance world.

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