Thursday, 23 February 2012

Review for Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 1st March 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Dance, Self-Discovery
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Amazon Summary:
''In a crowd of beautiful and talented dancers, how can one girl stand out?

As a dancer with the Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward is living her childhood dream. She gets to be up on stage in front of adoring crowds every night. And while she might not be a prima ballerina yet, she's moving up the ranks and surely if she works hard enough she can make it happen. But devoting her whole life to ballet leaves very little time for anything else: friends, family, school have all fallen by the wayside. Hannah doesn't mind, until a chance encounter in a restaurant brings Jacob into her life. He's cute, he plays guitar and he's offering a whole future that Hannah never considered. And now she must choose between her lifelong dream or what could be the love of her life...''

Bunheads was such an indulgent read for me, I’m fascinated by anything to do with dance- despite not being a dancer myself- I love watching movies like Black Swan and Step Up, old childhood books like Ballet Shoes, and TV show dancing competitions. I love everything from the beautiful costumes and dramatic make up to the fairy-tale like sets to the art of dance itself. I’ve been to the theatre to watch ballet a few times and every time I get so caught up in the story that the ballerina’s tell with their feet and reading Bunheads was almost like watching one of those dances, it gave me the exact same feeling of enchantment, magic and excitement.

What I loved most about Bunheads was the behind the scenes feel to it. Author Sophie Flack danced with the New York City ballet for nine years before writing this book so she shares with us first-hand information on exactly what goes on behind closed doors and what goes into this kind of profession. Not only did I love reading about our main character Hannah and her friend’s performances but I also loved reading about a dancer’s life off the stage from the extreme and challenging rehearsals to the gruelling training and physio. I found the simplest things like how they get their shoes to fit them perfectly and all the different moves fascinating. The life of a professional dancer is fiercely competitive and I came away from this book with a newfound respect for dancers and the dedication and passion they have for what they do. Despite the gorgeous dresses and fairy-tale’s that they dance to the job is at times anything but glamorous and I loved this insider’s look on the life of a young dancer trying to stand out from the crowd.

Whilst this books main focus is on the world of ballet dancing it also has themes of romance, friendship, rivalry and self-discovery. Hannah is a really interesting leading lady to read about with her conflicting emotions about ballet and her journey as she tries to decide what she wants from life. I also loved the love interest in this book Jacob and wanted Hannah to be with him pretty much from the moment they met! I also really liked Hannah’s best friend Bea who was such a good friend to Hannah and didn’t let the pressures of trying to get noticed come between their friendship.

Overall I thought that Bunheads was a really unique contemporary read. This book made me feel like a little girl again devouring a magical ballerina story wishing all the while that I too could get all dressed up and dance with princes and feel like a princess every night. Sophie Flack captures the magic and beauty of ballet and transforms it to the page flawlessly. This was a gorgeous debut that has made me see the world of competitive dance in a whole new light!


  1. This one sounds ace! Looking forward to reading it soon. I used to love reading the Ballet Shoes books years back and loved Black Swan too!

    1. It's such a fun read if you like the world of dance you will love this Leanna!

  2. I love it when an author has personal experience of something they write about, it makes the book feel more realistic and I LOVE learning new things (even things like how ballet dancers get their shoes to fit). This isn't the sort of thing I'd usually read, but I might have to give it a go. I love your review of it.

    The Cait Files

    1. Aww thanks Cait glad I've got you interested! It does feel very semi autobiography I think it's great when authors write about their own experiences, you know what they say write what you know! :)

  3. How strange - I went to school with a girl called Hannah Ward!

    There seem to be a lot of YA ballet books out there at the minute, but I really do want to read this one. I had no idea the author had a background in dance though - it just makes me want to read it all the more :)

  4. aww your review has made me want this even more... im just like you in that I love dancing movies and books and things but have never danced... not once! One of my favourite movies of all time is Save the Last Dance and I have needed Bunheads since I first heard about it... I cant wait to get it!


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