Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Various Positions by Martha Schabas

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
How I Got this Book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she's dancing. When she is accepted into Canada's preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it's not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina."


First, a big thank you to Netgalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the lives of young serious ballerinas. However, it was a bit disturbing. I have a 15 year old niece who is a dancer, but she is not quite as serious (at least when it comes to ballet specifically) - THANK GOD. I would have to hurt her if I found out she was anything like any of the girls in this book! It is so sad what these girls will do to get an edge on the competition...eating disorders and attempting sexual relationships with the teachers.

At the beginning of this book, Georgia is so young and naive. Really, she's rather socially awkward. But, in dance she is anything but awkward. And her teacher, Roderick, seems to notice this as well. After Georgia's mother tells her that all men are the same - basically they can't look at a woman without having sexual thoughts, Georgia begins to wonder how true this is. She begins to realize the power that her developing body can hold over men. She becomes obsessed with the thought of sex, and with Roderick in particular. Georgia has no idea the downward spiral she has started.

This book definitely showed the darker side of young ballerinas, but I really liked how this book started with such a sweet, innocent girl and how her environment changed her from the inside out. I still felt bad for her at the end of the book, because I could genuinely feel her confusion and, well, she just didn't mean to do the things she did. Schabas did an excellent job conveying Georgia's thinking processes and emotions.

Highly recommended!


Katja Weinert said...

Great review; hope to pick it up some soon as I've gotten on top of the books I already have :-)

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