I was telling my husband about this book I just read,
Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe,
And I was like, “it’s ballet young-adult fiction. But it’s written in verse! But not like rhyming couplets verse, more like a stream of consciousness kind of thing, it actually reads really naturally and I only had like one brief moment where I wondered what the book would look like if it were written in paragraphs instead of verse but then after that one moment I was totally on board with the verse and into it,”
And he was like, “Wait wait wait. There’s ballet young adult fiction?”
And I was like, “Huh? Oh yeah, definitely! There are probably more ballet YA books than regular adult ballet books. Makes sense, I mean most of the people in the world doing ballet are kids and young adults, so there’s your audience.”
Which I hadn’t really thought of before. Now I want to make two lists of all the ballet fiction ever and see which list is longer, A or YA.
I really enjoyed Audition. Read all 607 pages in about three hours and not just because the verse lends itself toward page-turning.
The main character, Sarah, has a very adult inner voice that she is pretty much completely unable to voice outside of her own head. A problem I majorly remember. From my own self at sixteen. Or yesterday. Whatever!
Sarah is in this relationship:
…every other part of me is straining to be
The forearm his fingertips are absently stroking.
You remember that relationship, right? You’re into him, he’s into him? He’s got the power?
Eventually he sees her like she wants him to but it’s all wrong. He begins taking her movements, the physical expression of her mostly non-verbal self, and working them into his choreography and giving them to another dancer to dance, like he’s draining her soul like some kind of dance-vampire and coming back again and again.
It’s a really interesting angle on the relationship of muse to artist. We all want to inspire someone, I mean how flattering to be someone’s magic, to be the spark that makes an artist create.
But then what do you get back? Love? That’s good. Collaboration? That’s good. Fame? Maybe good? But what if you get nothing back? What if he takes and takes? Is that ok, like in service to the greater art? Or is it not ok because it’s killing you?
I remember we all wanted to be The Girl In The Song when I was in high school. To have a song about you. I wonder if girls want that anymore.
Anyway, Audition. Totally worth an adult read.
Deets are: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe, copyright 2011, Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Disclosure: I totally checked this out from my local library and received no compensation for my review other than the pleasure of a good read.