Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 2011
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances, and complicated backstage relationships. But when she meets a spontaneous and irresistibly cute musician named Jacob, her universe begins to change.
Until now, Hannah has happily followed the company's unofficial mantra, "Don't think, just dance." But as Jacob opens her eyes to the world beyond the theater, Hannah must decide whether to compete against the other "bunheads" for a star soloist spot or to strike out on her own.
I like this cover. It definitely shows that this is a dance book, which I like. The colors work well with the feelings of the book, and the repetition actually does work for how Hannah feels inside the book, too. Overall, it's a pretty good cover.
- "After all, sometimes I feel scared of just about everything; that’s probably why I’ve always been scared to break any rule. For me, it’s always been easier just to do as I’m told.” (Paperback, pg. 137)
- "'Just when you think you can’t go on, somewhere a little light comes on.’” (Pg. 207)
I was surprised by this book. At first, it sounded good, and then I thought it might be just okay. But while reading it, I found that I rather enjoyed it.
Hannah Ward, nineteen, is a dancer. She transferred to an arts school, moved out on her own, focused on dance, and never looked back. But then she meets Jacob, and realizes that there’s stuff outside of dance, outside the studio, and that she might actually like exploring the world, including finishing that book she started a year ago and hasn’t had the time for. All she’s ever known is dance, though, dedicating to dance, and she doesn’t know if she could do anything else.
Hannah’s struggle is frustrating, I will say that. It’s subtle, too. But it gets to be a little much at points. She likes dance. She wants to dance. She’s always danced. But if she sticks to dancing, that’s all she’ll ever do. She won’t have time for reading or boys or food or anything outside the studio. She pretty much ignores that she wants anything else for a very long time, though. It’s done very subtly, and honestly I wasn’t even sure that she wanted anything but dance for a long while into the book.
Jacob is very sweet, though. And I felt bad for him for quite a while. He likes Hannah, they get along really well, have similar interests, and have good chemistry. But she’s so busy with dance that she has little-to-no time for him. He stuck around, though, thank god.
Their chemistry was very believable for me. I saw why they liked each other, and was rooting for them the whole time. Which is why Hannah’s tunnel vision on dance was so frustrating at times.
The writing wasn’t overly pretty, a little straightforward, but that made the dance scenes easy to read, of which there were a lot. Dance is everywhere in this book, chapter upon chapter focused on it. But they were really easy to read, simple and not boring or over-done. I liked that.
The way it was handled was nice, too. It wasn’t overly dramatized; it seemed realistic, at least from the nonexistent experience I have with dance. It was realistic and subtle.
The ending was definitely my favorite part of the book. The way everything worked out for Hannah was just perfect, exactly what she needed. It was perfect for her, and that made me happy. That in itself bumped the rating up.
I really liked this book. The writing was good, the characters were great, and the ending was fantastic. It definitely made me want to pick up another dance book, and if Flack releases something else, probably that, too.