Remember how we all learned how freaky the world of professional ballet is when Black Swan came out a couple of years ago? Well, Bunheads is a mixture of Black Swan and some teen dance movie. Maybe Save the Last Dance? Or Girls Just Want To Have Fun? You know you watched those. Oh, you didn’t? Then this might not be the book for you.
Hannah Ward is 19 years old and in the Manhattan Ballet Company, and she’s not even one of the youngest there. Despite having worked all her life toward a solo with the company it never seems to be enough. When Hannah meets Jacob, a normal college student with no connection to the world of dance, she starts to see how her life could turn out differently, but only if she casts aside everything she has worked toward for as long as she can remember.
Author Sophie Flack knows her stuff – the book could be considered semi-autobiographical. By the age of 17, Flack was apprenticing with the New York City Ballet after having been in training for ten years. I won’t tell you how her story ends because it will spoil how Hannah’s does. This was an enjoyable and fairly quick read that I’d recommend to anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look at competitive dance.