By Sophie Flack
Poppy Books, Paperback, 9780316126540, 320pp.
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
In a crowd of beautiful ballet dancers, how can one girl stand out?
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances, and complicated backstage relationships. But when she meets a spontaneous and irresistibly cute musician named Jacob, her universe begins to change.
Until now, Hannah has happily followed the company's unofficial mantra, "Don't think, just dance." But as Jacob opens her eyes to the world beyond the theater, Hannah must decide whether to compete against the other "bunheads" for a star soloist spot or to strike out on her own.
Praise for Bunheads:"She [Flack] brilliantly captures the arc from soaring ballerina to
exhausted dancer collapsing in a pool of sweat...details have
been changed, but fans of ballet will nonetheless relish the inside scoop. A multi-layered and absorbing good read by a promising debut
novelist."—Kirkus (starred review)
"A measured, vibrant, un-melodramatic account... with a lively cast of literary soloists and corps de novel who present possible ways to survive, or not, as a dancer. Even the ballet-neutral will understand the conflict between career and personal life explored here, but this book will be absolutely irresistible to those who've always felt just one pirouette and years of ferocious training away from Margot Fonteyn."—BCCB (starred review)
"Readers, both dancers and "pedestrians" (the corps' term for nondancers), will find Hannah's struggle a gripping read."
"Flack has written Hannah's story with an insider's knowledge and expertise.
The result is an entertaining read, shedding light on a world most readers know
"From the eyecatching cover-a kaleidoscopic
overhead shot of tutu-clad ballet dancers-this first-person account of the
difficult life a ballerina faces will enthrall readers."—Booklist
"At turns riveting, hilarious and bittersweet, Bunheads provides a backstage pass into the world of elite New York City ballet dancers. I got swept up in their routines and habits, their triumphs and disappointments, and their deep friendships, which thrive even in the face of fierce competition. This is at once a romantic page-turner and a thoughtful exploration of just how much true artists are willing to give up for their art."— J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and Commencement