Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, New Adult
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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.