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?
I was surprised how much I liked this novel. The main character certainly wasn't the nicest, smartest, or best overall I have read, but that was part of what made her so likable. I really enjoyed following Hannah's point of view and getting glimpses into her thought processes throughout the novel. She is determined, extremely hardworking, and manages to persevere through the pain and disappointment that comes with being a dancer.
The story starts with all of the ballet dancers working hard to get a promotion-the coveted soloist positions that could make them "real ballerinas." The reader will be introduced to several dynamic secondary characters. They are all hardworking, many are very obsessed with weight. I think the author did a wonderful job of capturing the "typical ballet dancer" mentality.
Jacob, Hannah's potential love interest, added an extra bonus to the book. He provided Hannah a view into normal, everyday life. That small snippet will come back to haunt Hannah, increasing her desire for other things-beyond dancing. Overall, the author was a great writer, there were no awkward scenes and the dancers' emotions came across as genuine. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
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