Published October 10th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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I devoured this book like you have no idea. I’ve always been kind of amazed by ballerinas, their dedication and discipline is something I respect and applaud. But I know there’s a dark side to it, even if from the audience all you can see is the brightest, most wonderful kind of light you can see through an art performance.
Bunheads it’s all about the bright and the dark side of ballet, it’s about maturing and about relationships and compromise and priorities. Hannah Ward is the main character, a corps ballet dancer, not a soloist, not a ballerina. She’s been doing ballet since she was eight, and she became part of the Manhattan Ballet Academy when she was only 14, she had to move to NYC alone and she was determined to become a soloist. Hannah is definitely talented, and oh so dedicated, but in the cut-throat world of ballet, that’s never enough.
Example: Hannah’s chest develops…
Ordinary girls = thrilled; ballerinas = nightmare.
Is it her fault = no; do her teachers care that it isn’t = no.
She is expected to take care of it somehow, because any kind of fat in a ballerina’s body is simply not acceptable.
You guys, I suspected things like that happened to ballerinas, but Jeez it blows my mind… the things this girls go through, it’s like they are part of the army of something. No matter how perfect Hannah’s life seems from the outside, inside everything’s falling to pieces. I love the realness of this book, I love the relationships between Hannah and her three closest friends. I especially like her frenemy, Zoey. I love the tiny bit of romance this book has, Jacob the adorable musician/ NYU student. I pretty much love everything about it.
I love this picture so much
Now this picture reminds me of Hannah because that ballerina looks like a rebel. And Hannah, intentionally or not, is kind of a rebel. She has attitude and she has guts and she doesn’t care if you are the son of the company’s owner.
So basically, this book is about the journey of a dancer, how someone can be so passionate about something, working so hard for something, that they never realize they’ve stopped enjoying it. It’s about having the guts to walk out (or stay in). I admire Hannah’s courage to do what her heart told her even though she was so scared.