It’s offical. I love books written in free verse. I love how these books play with form and how the sparseness can sometimes hit me harder than prose. Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe is awesome, plus it’s nice to read a free verse book that’s not about the dangerous world of drugs.
So, I think those of you who know me already know I find dance boring IRL, but love reading about it. Y’all Audition just feeds that addiction. Sara is a 16 year old ballerina from Vermont. She’s just won a scholarship to an elite dance school in New Jersey and is a bit naive because she’s from a small town and all. In addition, she begins to go to an academic prep school in New Jersey, after being in public school all her life and the scholastic competition is fierce, so Sara is totally out of her league on all fronts in New Jersey. She’s a fish out of water until Remington, a 22 year old dance instructor takes a romantic interest in her (OMG JUST LIKE IN CENTER STAGE!!!) — however is the interest part of Rem’s ambition or true feelings?
Yo, ballet has a dark underbelly. Shocking, I KNOW! I mean, you got girls who turn to eating disorders to get what they believe are perfect bodies. Then there is serious competition over the parts, and god totally forbid you aren’t the sugar plum fairy in the Nutcracker. Plus there’s all these bodily injuries ballerinas get which are gross. And then in Audition there’s totally the power dichotomy between instructor (Rem) and student (Sara). It’s all very fascinating and handled quite well by Kehoe.
I loved Sara as a character. She’s vulnerable, but not a deer in headlights. I mean, she’s not stupid vulnerable or anything and while she does do a certain thing at her school which made my skin crawl a little, she felt totally authentic with her lack of confidence. I mean, she just feels like a real teenage girl. It brought me back to the days where I too felt inadequate, like she does and like I think most teenagers do. But, she also has this inner-strength that comes out. Rather than crying her way through feeling alone, she bucks up,meaning she sticks it out, rather than giving up. I like that sort of gumption a lot.
Also, guys, I’ll even admit to liking Rem just a little bit. Although he is totally a douche, he’s not like that all the time. I KNOW that’s a contradiction. Just roll with it when you read Audition. You’ll understand what I mean. Further, there are SEXYTIMES. I know, I should just make a sexytimes stamp and put it on every book I read that contains a bit of sexytimes. But it’s awesome, for the most part. I mean, some was uncomfortable to read, but nothing that was like ‘yuck pukepukepuke’.
I’m definitely curious to see where Kehoe’s author career will go, she’s an author to watch if you enjoy free verse.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Other Reviews of Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe:
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