Dec 27, 2011

Review: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Title: Bunheads
Author: Sophie Flack
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: 10.10.2011
Pages: 294
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

I have been fascinated by dancers for as long as I can remember. Now I personally have the balance and coordination of a drunken ostrich on a good day, so dancing isn’t exactly my forte. But I love and respect the elegance of dance, both choreographed and improv. I admire the dedication people have to this sport; they constantly and consciously inflict damage and pain on their body to achieve that perfect move, that perfect moment. I found myself just as captivated by Sophie Flack’s Bunheads as surely as if I were watching a live ballet.

Watching dancers on stage or in a movie was one thing, but I wasn’t sure about how I would enjoy reading about them. I often find that when a book revolves around a specific sport or hobby that isn’t as well known, it can be somewhat offsetting to the reader. We don’t understand the technical jargon that the writer casually tosses about, but I felt Flack handled herself wonderfully. If I didn’t completely understand a move or maneuver, the rest of the description in the page was more times than not enough compensation. And while the novel does focus heavily on dance, it’s so much more than that.

Hannah struggles as a dancer translate easily to life. She’s making decisions now as a young adult that will not only shape her career, but her life. After devoting her life to dance, Hannah starts to yearn for something more. While she still loves dance, she starts to realize she’s missing the little things in life that we non-dancers take for granted regularly. When she meets Jacob she starts to really notice all those little things and that adds up into one big question: Can she have both ballet and a life of her own?

With Flack’s background as a dancer, this novel could have easily slid into the category of preachy and confusing. There is no doubt that Flack knows her stuff when it comes to ballet, but there’s a fine line between knowing and writing. I must say that Flack danced that thin line with the finesse one would expect of a ballet dancer. This book is graceful, fast, and intoxicating to watch unfold.

Buy: Amazon


  1. Great review! Ever since I saw this cover I've been pining for this book. I love books about ballet and from your review, I see this is a good one.

    -P.E. (another drunk ostrich :p )
    Tantalizing Illusions

  2. I've seen this book around but never picked it up. Adding it to my tar list now, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great Review! I have a fascination with dance too, I think it is because I am so jealous that they can dance, and I have no rhythm!

  4. Thanks for your review. I've been wanting to read this. I, too, have a fascination with books and movies about dance. While I envy their skills, I appreciate the time, effort, and sacrifice dancers put in to perfect their technique. There is NO way I could do dance. I just don't have the balance and level of commitment. And the fact that I'm a total foodie doesn't help matters.

  5. I just got this at the library! Looking forward to it :)

  6. I'm always hesitant to read a book surrounding a sport because of the jargon. Yet, I have also found some great reads that I'm glad I didn't skip over because of the sport aspect (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes & Deadline). This one sounds like another book that has many levels besides just dance and it translates into the main character's life. Awesome review. I want to pick this one up now. The cover is also beautiful.

  7. I've always wanted to read this! I think that the dance life is something that not a lot of people get to view personally (especially my uncoordinated self). I'm glad that you liked! I really want to give it a shot now. Thanks so much for the great review :)

  8. I wonder if this book has any basis in the new show on ABC Family by the same name. Hmmm? Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. A while ago, I saw a revie wof this book on YouTube and added it to my TBR, but then totally forgot about it. Glad you liked this one. I'm going to bump it up in my never ending list of TBR!

  10. Great review! I'm a big fan of ballet, though I never took lessons. Sounds like an interesting read. :)

  11. Hoàng Quân là đơn vị hàng đầu cho thue xe 16 chocho thue xe 7 cho uy tín nhat Ha Noi.


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