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December 28, 2011

Review: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

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.
Before Audition, I had never read a novel written entirely in verse. To be honest, I was a bit confused as to how an entire story could be woven out of poetry, but once I decided to pick it up, I could not put it down.

Sara is a sixteen-year-old dancer from a small town. Against all odds, she is offered a scholarship to attend a ballet school. Though this is what Sara has always dreamed about, the real experience is not quite what she expected. She is put into a strange town, living in an unfamiliar house, and terribly lonely. Cue Remington--the much older dancer/choreographer that Sara cannot resist. However, Rem is not quite as perfect as he seems, and in the end, Sara will have to make a choice that will determine the course of her life.

Since I personally have two left feet, my admiration for any and all types of dancers skyrocketed as I read Audition. Sara may not be the most technically skillful as some of her classmates, but she has an amount of soul and eloquence that makes her stand out above all. Like I previously stated, this was my first reading of a novel in verse, and despite my doubts, the words were so beautifully written that I could picture Sara's dances in my mind. As for Remington, I couldn't stand him, but I understood why Sara was so intensely attracted to him.

I've never been a big fan of contemporary novels, but Audition was entirely different from many others out there. I was amazed by how pure simplicity could capture detail and the deepest essence of the story. To me, it seems that writing in verse is even more difficult than writing in typical book format, but when done right, the result is just beyond words. My only issue was the ending, as it left much to the imagination and didn't give me much sense of closure. Overall, the novel was quite like a breath of fresh air--soft, sweet, and delightful.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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