Release Date: 1st March 2012
As a dancer with the Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward is living her childhood dream. And while she might not be a prima ballerina yet, she’s moving up the ranks and surely if she works hard enough she can make it happen.
But devoting her whole life to ballet leaves very little time for anything else: friends, family, school have all fallen by the wayside. Hannah doesn’t mind, until a chance encounter brings Jacob into her life. He’s cute, plays guitar and he’s offering a whole future that Hannah never considered. And now she must choose between her lifelong dream and what could be the love of her life...
Bunheads didn’t immediately grab me when I first heard about it, but when it arrived and I read the first few pages, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I didn't realise I would love it, though.
There’s a certain charm surrounding ballet for every girl. I think every six-year-old goes through a phase of wanting to be a beautiful ballerina and wear a tutu when they grow up, especially those with no grace, balance or coordination (i.e. me). That ambition never left Hannah and after twelve or so years of brutally hard work, she’s dancing with one of the world’s best ballet companies. And it’s nothing like we dreamed of as little girls.
Before reading Bunheads I knew that being a ballet dancer is an incredibly difficult and challenging, both mentally and physically, career, but I had no idea to what extent. The girls in the corps abuse their bodies with punishing exercise routines on top of a day full of dancing and put very little back into it all to fight for a solo and get promoted. But for the dancers, it’s completely worth it for the utter euphoria Hannah feels when she’s onstage. I’d love to have something like that in my life.
One of my favourite things about Bunheads is that Hannah is nineteen. There are very few protagonists in YA that are this age, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen is the only one I can call to mind right this second. It was so nice to read about a girl who is the same age as me who was still only just falling in love and having an adventure and those typical teenage life-changing moments. It’s a breath of fresh air for those of us who are older than the usual YA main character.
Bunheads is a fascinating glimpse into the world of ballet and I can’t wait to see what else Sophie Flack has up her sleeve.
Thank you to Atom for providing me with a copy to review.