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Review: Audition (Stasia Ward Kehoe)

Title: Audition
Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 458
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Challenges: One Two Theme
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the back of the book): When Sara is offered a scholarship with the prestigious Jersey Ballet, there's no way she can turn down the opportunity of a lifetime. But to take it, she must leave her family and friends for a strange city. Suddenly, she's thrust into a life of endless ballet class and rehearsal, of juggling schoolwork with hours in the studio, of constantly being critiqued, corrected, and judged.

Overwhelmed and lonely, Sara connects with Remington, a brilliant up-and-coming choreographer. Though he's too old for her, sparking scandal at the studio, Sara is thrilled to become Rem's muse. But as the secrets pile up and Rem's innovative dances start to attract wider attention, Sara wonders whose dreams she's making come true.

Review: I have only read one other book that is written in verse and I did alright with it. This one was a little tougher for me and it made me realize that I really like dialogue and quotation marks when I am reading. Weird thing, I know, but true.

Sara is a likable character, but I wanted her to stand up for herself, to be more vocal, and to go after her goals rather than just floating through life, not letting people know how and what she is feeling. Hearing the whole book from inside her head made me feel like I really knew her and, at sixteen and away from home, it is difficult to figure out who you are and what you want when you are so unsure.

The story is pleasant, but not exciting, in fact it felt like ballet feels to me: smooth, beautifully done, but not exciting. Does that sound horrible? I guess I am just used to more action in the books I read and this one is more introspective and I realize that isn't a bad thing, it just isn't what I am used to. I do think the author did a great job at showing what life is like in a dance studio, the pressures on the girls for their bodies to fit a mold, for audition anxiety, who got what part in each show, etc.

Geography Connection

Click to see my updated Google Map. New Jersey is not a new state for me this year and it really doesn't matter where this book took place really. The main character is from Vermont and there are quite a lot of references to that state (snow, maple syrup, the fruit harvest, etc), but the bulk of the story takes place in New Jersey.

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