Posts Tagged 'ballet'

The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Number of pages: 326

Alina has been studying ballet for 10 years and has plans to make a career out of it when a devastating injury brings her dream crashing down. With therapy, she is able to walk and resume normal functionality, but her dreams of ballet dancing are over. She must learn to engage fully in her high school and begin to heal and make new friends. She quickly learns that many of the high school peers had previously seen her as standoffish as she never spoke to anyone and only focused on ballet. Now, that she is going to school full-time and not splitting her time with ballet she has to find a way to be happy and start to deal with the grief she feels over the loss of ballet. One way her parents convince her to move on is to try out for the school musical and she ends up getting a dancing part. She comes to find that there are several great people who try out for the play, but every time she starts to forget about her past her best friend texts her to see how she’s doing. She knows her best friend is just trying to stay close and has the best intentions, but she finds herself feeling dread every time she gets a text. She does not want to know what is happening at her own studio now that she is not there, but she knows it isn’t her friend’s fault that she got hurt. Can she overcome the sadness of losing ballet in order to appreciate the good things she has in life? Can she make true friends at her school who will support her even when she acts irrationally? Can she stay friends with someone who still does ballet when she can’t?

Alina’s story will resonate with many teenagers simply because many are trying to reach a difficult goal and often face obstacles such as injury that stand in the way. Alina is fortunate to have so many people who want to help and support her, but it’s hard to accept help when you’re not ready for it. The book does touch on some racial biases in the world of ballet as well, which is something readers may not be aware of. Family is another topic that is mentioned as Alina must reconnect with the sister she left behind on her quest to dance. This story emphasizes the importance of family and friends in life to help you get through the tough times, but to be by your side for the good times. Recommended for fans of Jenny Han or Suzanne Colasanti.

Relic by Heather Terrell

relic

Genre:  Adventure/Futuristic

# of Pages:  277

RAC:  Yes

Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death mere months before he is supposed to participate in the testing.  The testing is a rigorous and dangerous competition in which 12 contestants ride sleds into the frozen wasteland outside their city in order to lower themselves into icy ravines in search of relics from the civilization that died out 200 years ago after a vicious flood covered the earth.  Eva steps up to take her brother’s place and is met with harsh opposition.  A female has not competed in this in 150 years, but she knows the rule book inside and out and knows there is no reason they can forbid her to participate.  Jasper is the man everyone intends her to marry and he seems intent on keeping a protective eye on her during the testing, but Eva can’t shake the feeling that his intentions might not all be admirable.  Does she have what it takes to not only survive the testing, but to succeed in her mission?  Whom can she trust and whom should she be wary of?  If she finds a relic what will it tell her about the civilization that came before her?

Fans of futuristic stories such as The Maze Runner and Divergent will enjoy this title.  Eva is a strong and willful character that is pulling on her brother’s strength to carry off this mission.  While there are several supporters of her, there are also several who would love to see her fail.  Most of the story focuses on the testing itself, but there is definitely going to be at least one more in this series and readers will hopefully learn more about this community and how they came to believe some of the things they believe.  Eva is definitely the character to find out the answers to the many questions that come up during the testing.   The imagery and description of the setting is especially important since it plays such a big role in not only the testing, but the everyday lives of this civilization since the flood that destroyed the world 200 years before.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages: 294

RAC:  Yes

Hannah has been a dancer at an elite Ballet company for many years and was completely fine dedicating so much of her life to it.  After meeting a musician in a restaurant, however, she began to realize how much she has given up for her dancing and she is not even a solo dancer.  Can she accept the fact that she has dedicated herself so strongly to something she may never reach the top at?  Can she bring herself to walk away after so many years of hard work to pursue something else she may not even like?

This story allows readers to see what it is like to be a dancer in a ballet company.  There are numerous rehearsals, fittings, physical therapy sessions, nutrition experts, etc. that are constantly ruling how the dancers should live.  They are simply expected to give up any kind of outside life in order to succeed in this difficult field.  Hannah is unusual in that she begins to think about life outside of the studio and is not sure she is up for the challenge of doing what it takes to get promoted.  On the other hand, whenever she sees other girls get promoted over her she feels jealous and hurt.  Is she meant to be a solo ballerina or merely a background dancer?  Readers interested in dancing, the arts, or romance will enjoy this book wholeheartedly.

My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  198

RAC:  Yes

Franny feels like her life is too ordinary and that she has no special talents.  Her sister, Zooey, meanwhile is one of the best ballerinas at her elite ballet school and has just been offered the role of a lifetime playing Juliet in an upcoming production.  Franny secretly likes her newspaper editor and desperately wants to write a valuable article for the paper.  Things do not work out well for either sister when Zooey breaks her leg and is sidelined from the performance and Franny’s debut article is rejected by her crush.  The two are forced to spend more time together than they have in years and they learn that they have many misunderstandings regarding each other.  Can they find a way for them to co-exist without one of them feeling less than worthy?

This story sounds simple, but the characters draw the reader in.  Even readers who do not have siblings will be able to identify with that person that seems to have everything together while they do not.  Everyone has that person and this book really shows that no one has a perfect life and everyone thinks someone else has a better life than they do.  There is also a bit of romance and some lighthearted drama in the book that young high schoolers will enjoy.  Recommended for readers who enjoy Sarah Dessen novels.


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