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?"
My Review: Not the best book in the world. That sounds harsh, considering the positive reviews this book got, but I personally thought it fell kind of...flat. I mean, it wasn't horrible, not by any means! I liked it well enough. The drama and lives of the ballet dancers was pretty interesting and I liked reading about their world. But personally? I felt like it wasn't enough. There wasn't enough detail about the world of ballet dancers---especially dancers at the prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company! Hannah had such a cynical and jaded view towards her world that she didn't really give an accurate representation of what it was. I realize it's a lot of hard work and perseverance---she shows that bit very accurately---but she BARELY shows any of the glamorous aspects! Also, some aspects of the book left a bad taste in my mouth, such as the light way they talked about girls starving themselves. Even at the end of the book, no one really seemed to mention just how WRONG it truly was! They just glossed over it. Also, Hannah and Jacob's relationship seemed really fake. I'm sorry, but it did. They met, like, maybe a few times---and suddenly Jacob was getting all possessive and mad when she canceled on their plans? And the book did a poor job of really communicating how and why Hannah was discontent with being a ballet dancer. Flack didn't build up to it; it was like, boom. You open and the book and basically in chapter one, Hannah sounds flat and dull and unhappy. Of course, not ALL parts of the book were bad. Like I said, I really did find it interesting reading about the ballet dancers and what kind of work and stress they went through...but this wasn't enough to make this book a really good one, unfortunately. A less-than-stellar debut.
Cover: The cover, unlike the book, is actually sort of inspired and cute! I love the topside image of the ballet dancers in formation; it's unique and clever and cute!
Overall Grade: C+