Saturday, April 28, 2012

Various Positions, by Martha Schabas

Georgia loves ballet, and wants nothing more than to be a successful ballerina.  When she is accepted into a prestigious ballet school, she finds a way to not only pursue her dreams, but to escape from her family and social problems.  She is quickly frustrated by the other girls who seem do occupied with boys, and remains determined to stay focused.  This focus impresses one of her teachers, with whom she becomes fixated.

I kind of felt like this book was a bit of a "Lolita in reverse" situation.  One look at the description will tell you that this book deals with sexual themes, both in appropriate and inappropriate situations.  This may make many readers uncomfortable, so be forewarned.  However, I think the book delivers exactly what the description states.  Yes, Georgia is dealing with sexuality, as do most teenagers in some manner.  Yes, the characters in the book are dysfunctional, as are most families.  This is not a book that is going to make you feel light and happy, but I believe that it is actually an accurate portrayal of what life can be like for a teenage girl in a world of high pressure.

The storyline is sad, and slightly dark, but I personally do not mind that.  I liked that, while the action is set in the world of ballet, that there is not a lot of intense focus on the technicalities of ballet.  I personally am not terribly interested in ballet, I never wanted to be a ballerina, but I do think it made for an interesting angle and setting, so for me, the amount of dance in the book was just right.

I did have a hard time getting into the head of Georgia, and in general found the characters a little weak.  I never really felt very connected to the story.  This was simply a book to read, not one to get lost in.  I felt like the story never really went anywhere.  No one learned or gained anything.  There was no resolution to most of the situations in the story.  It is for these reasons that I found the book lacking.

Also, I rarely comment on covers, but I must say, I hate this cover.  They really missed the mark here.

This book is too sexual for young teens, but older teens and twentysomethings might enjoy the book, particularly those interested in of having experience of the world of ballet.  This is not a book for those who look to lose themselves in a story, but is fine for readers just looking for something to read to pass the time.

I received a review copy as part of the Amazon Vine program.

 

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