Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
Published by Viking Juvenile
Publish Date: October 13, 2011
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. –(summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: A few days ago I talked about another contemporary verse novel that was not the most uplifting of books but yet I loved it so much. In the comments, I noticed that a few people said they didn’t think it was the book for them and while I understand this, I still want people to give verse novels a try! So on a whim I decided to throw another one into the mix for this contemporary month event. Voila! Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe – it’s not nearly as heavy and it has dancing in it!
This is not my first verse novel.
wasn’t gut-wrenching, in-your-face intense.
This girl loves to dance.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may already know this.
Why? Because it makes me happy.
How does this relate to Audition? I’m so glad you asked that question!
If you haven’t tried a verse novel,
I’d love for you to pick up one and give it a try.
There is something different and interesting and fun and strange and satisfying about reading free verse, you guys. When you read the intense books, like any of Ellen Hopkins’ books or Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams, the verse format makes it easier somehow if you have any reservations at all about the tough subject matter. I personally am not the biggest fan of the tough issue books – my blogger friends know me well enough to tell me when a book just isn’t for me – but I know that if the same book came in verse, I could probably handle it better. Does that make sense? However, there are books out there like this one or anything by Lisa Schroeder that the rest of you guys would probably like just fine. And there are other verse novel too. Ask in the comments for recommendations if you want to try one! Some people won’t like them, but I love them. You’ll never know if you don’t at least try!
Today he will life me into the air,
Hold my hand,
Support my back,
And make me more beautiful
Than I could ever be alone –Kindle 671/2931
There is also more to the story than the dancing! Sara is in school, so she struggles to maintain her classes and studying while dancing – this part is obvious. But, as we can guess from the cover of the book and the description, she soon falls for a guy. But not just any guy, this guy just happens to be a dancer as well – a choreographer with her group. Sara begins hanging out with Remington, going over to his apartment, spending time alone with him, and soon her priorities shift a bit. So we start watching Sara question exactly which things are important to her.
While Sara questions everything – dancing, friendship, love, her relationship with Remington – she begins to write, and very well. Sara realizes that she loves writing a lot. Maybe as much as dancing.
Audition is the story of Sara taking a year of her life away from home to figure out exactly what it is she wants to do with her life. She isn’t in college yet – she’s attending high school in another state, a rare and wonderful opportunity. Sara tries out a few things, has some great life experiences, and ultimately makes a decision toward a path that she believes is the best for her.
The fact that all of this is gleaned from a verse novel – and a debut at that – is amazing to me. I loved this book. There is so much power behind the words of this author. She made her words beautiful in the places where they should be, and yet she used her same words to show the real world of the dancers – the jealousy, the extreme dieting, the blisters, the damage to their young bodies. Every idea and image we read is perfectly portrayed with just the exact amount of words, as is the way with verse, and I thought it was brilliant. I loved it.Audition was a great verse novel for someone who wants to try one that isn’t too heavy.
Romance – no triangle, slow-to-develop
Stories Containing: Dance, Creative Writing
Recommended for Older YA Readers & Adult YA-Loving Readers
Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
is currently available for purchase.
Do you have any favorite verse authors?