Ballerina by Edward Stewart

Posted May 29, 2014 by Kate in Just Okay, Review / 0 Comments

Ballerina by Edward StewartBallerina by Edward Stewart
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, New Adult
Buy on Amazon

Stephanie Lang and Christine Avery meet in ballet school. Although they share the same dream—to become great dancers—they could not be more different. Ballet is in Stephanie’s blood; her mother, Anna, is a former dancer who lives to see her daughter achieve the fame she herself never attained. Christine has lived a sheltered life, secure in the love of her family. But her privileged upbringing conceals a devastating secret.

Two teenage dancers, one chance to make it. From the thrill and terror of auditions through years of meticulous training to landing a coveted spot in a professional company, Stephanie and Christine relentlessly pursue their ambitions. As they give their all to dance, they become inseparable—until they are torn apart by their passion for the same man, a brilliant Russian dancer whose seductive, mercurial temperament will have unforeseen consequences for them all.  

I love ballerinas and ballet, I was one of those little girls who took ballet and loved it, I wasn’t any good though. But just because I wasn’t any good at it, doesn’t mean I stopped liking. That being said, I don’t think I have read any real ballet books, a couple about ex-ballet dancers, but not one where ballet is so front and center as it is in this book, so I was actually really excited about this book.

The first thing I noticed was that the narration kind of killed the pacing for me. I thought the book started a little on the slow side, and that was largely because of the narration. I thought that the whole book kind of suffered from a choppy writing style, it’s not that the book was hard to follow, but it did feel a bit on the disjointed side.

I also wasn’t expecting the stage mom to have such an active role in the beginning, the book is about two young ballet dancers, but yet when I opened the book and started reading it actually felt like I was reading the mothers story and not the two young ballet dancers stories. I really didn’t like that about the book. I wanted more of a focus on the two girls.

I did think that the writer did a good job at capturing the essence of the ballerina, it felt authentic to me. I really did find myself becoming immersed in the environment, and I appreciate that about the book. As for the two main characters, Steph and Chris I have to say I enjoyed Steph a lot more than I did Chris. I found Chris to be a bit on the annoying side, it was like she never truly grew up/matured, and a lot of the scenes with her ending up reading as really melodramatic.

A couple of other notes about the book: I felt like the book went on too long, it really was a long read. I didn’t exactly enjoy the older characters, from Steph’s stage mom Anna to the director the ballet who is so self-absorbed in his vision that I kind wanted to hit him. Overall, the book was a solid one, it turns out this is a release of a book written in the 70s, so it holds up over decades. I think that anyone who enjoyed ballet would enjoy this, especially because of the friendship between the two girls.

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