Author: Sophie Flack
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: October 10th 2011
Source: Hardcover (library)
Summary: 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?
Review: Borrowed this book from the library during one of my ‘let’s borrow books with pretty book covers’ trips. How can anyone resist such a gorgeous hardcover? Moreover it looked like a brand new book up for loan! Wasn’t expecting much from this after reading the excerpt but I am glad I was wrong!
I absolutely love books that are semi-autobiographical books. I find it intriguing and I always learn so much from books like these, it really helps you develop a wider perspective on life.
What I really liked:
The first-person narration was amazing as I felt like I was Hannah and I was going through her struggles. I could really empathise with her uncertainty and struggles even though I am not even close to being a dancer. The ballet terms injected into the paragraphs made the book even more realistic and nothing was over-dramatised. The focus of the novel was solely on the struggles of a ballet career, I was glad that the romance portion of the book was there as a supplement to highlight the struggles instead of being one of those ‘i-would-die-without-you’ relationships. Hannah was discovering herself and what she really wanted out of life and as a reader it makes you reflect on your on life as well. Its kind of a ballet 101, learnt so much about it! A really relatable book for everyone and anyone!
What I did not like:
Nothing major, but it would have been nice if the characters were more developed.
Recommended for: Dancers and YA readers
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: November 15th 2011
Series: The Pledge #1
Summary: In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….
Review: I am crazy about this cover! It fits the book really well. 🙂 Loved the concept of the book, I have not come across a book that use language as a means to differentiate class. Finished this in 2 nights!
This book reminded me of The Hunger Games, perhaps due to the segregation of people and the fact that both novels take place in the future where everything is entirely different.
I am pretty sure things are gonna get interesting in the next few books as we see how Charlie fights against the inner-evil queen. I am also curious to see how her relationship with Max progresses, their relationship seemed to move too quickly in this book. They barely had any alone time together. I also thought the ending could have been a bit more drawn out, it seemed rushed as Charlie gave in rather quickly despite hearing the troops attacking the palace. Hopefully her sister starts to play a larger role as her powers seem pretty cool! Can’t wait for the next book in this series: The Essence (2013)
Recommended for: Language and Dystopian lovers