Book Review: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
Hardcover, 464 pgs.
Published Oct 13th, 2011 by Viking Juvenile 
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she’s deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem’s muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she’s chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.

 I’m a big fan of verse novels but I think it takes a perfect balance and use of words to make the style work to where you can really feel the story.  Because you’re only getting the meat of the story and no extra detail the words used are incredibly important.  And I think Stasia picked a perfect subject to write about.  Her words were like a dance themselves.  The whole time I was reading I was thinking that it was perfect to write about ballet in a verse novel because it was so gorgeous!  
This book is about Sara who is thrown into a new place with new people when she goes off to school to study ballet.  The feeling I got was that she was very shy and didn’t talk much.  She feels really insecure since she’s from a small town and doesn’t have as much ballet experience as the other girls.  She immediately notices Rem, a very cute older choreographer in the studio.  Things progress once he notices her and suddenly they are thrust into this relationship that is all about dance {and dance in the bedroom} and very few words.  Rem seems to not have a lot of respect for her but yet she’s so eager, so desperate for his attention.  In the book we watch as she struggles with ballet, school, and her relationship with him.  She has a journey ahead of her to discover her true self and what she really wants.
I think many teens (and adults) can relate to Sara and her need to fit in, to be more, and to discover her true self.  Being a teen is hard but being thrown into a totally new place with only strangers is very hard and once someone gives you attention, well, who wouldn’t want that?  
This book has the characters on the cover.  Normally I don’t like that because I don’t like picturing the people as the people on the cover.  This one is different.  I think they portray what I would imagine them to look like and the expressions on their faces fit perfect.  It’s easy to fall for Rem, but yet being on the outside looking in we also see how damaging and wrong it is.  
This book is beautiful and inspiring and absolutely what I want in a verse novel.  The words used, the descriptions thrown in, it was all perfect.  I can’t wait for more from Stasia!
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  1. I’m not usually drawn to verse novels but I do like the premise and Sara sounds like a great, relatable character. I’ll have to check it out!

  2. I lurrrve novels in verse, so I’ve really been wanting to read this one. I agree that it’s appropriate to pair dance and verse. I’m really excited to read this one now and experience the rhythm of the words and the dancing. Great review, Candace!

  3. Candace! Do you know how much this is affecting my book buying ban! lol
    I think I will add this one to my X-mas wish list, even though my mother has refused to buy me any more books because she claims “I have enough books!” THE HORROR, anway thank you for the great review and I am slowly getting into verse novels. :)

  4. I LOVE novels in verse! I hadn’t heard of this one yet. Definitely adding this to the top of my to read list! I’ve actually read a middle grade novel in verse that was about ballet. It was called On Pointe by Lori Ann Grover, not excellent but worth the read.

  5. I think I need to get this one ASAP! (book buying ban prevents it though)

    The thing that turned me off of this book initially, is exactly what made you want to read it – ballet. I’m not really into ballet or dancing at all, so I was unsure of whether I would actually like this, but your review makes me want to run out and get Audition.

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