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Audition Hardcover – October 13, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Sara's coming-of-age tale is one of passion and romance, colliding with her vision of whom she ultimately hopes to be. Her confused feelings are believably expressed and her attitudes toward her friends and the adults in her life will ring true, especially to...readers who are also involved in the performing arts."-School Library Journal

"The author, who has a performing and choreography background, stages Sara's dance world clearly through her spare verse, from ballet moves and body aches to studio drama... readers will empathize as she struggles with everything from sore shins to Rem's fickleness and whether she wants to continue dancing." - Publisher's Weekly

"Fans of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones will enjoy this cautionary, detail-oriented look at the backstage world of the ballet and cheer for Sara as she finally makes her own decisions about her commitment to dance and her future." - Booklist

"...the pages turn quickly once the reader gets into the rhythm of the words and Sara's story. Kehoe can turn an evocative phrase, like the way she describes the "encrusted hairspray" of the dancer, or the minimalist way in which she describes a dancer's eating disorder..." -Huffington Post

About the Author

Stasia Ward Kehoe has freelanced for several publishing companies. A former dancer and co-founder of a children's theater company, she continues to choreograph and teach writing and theatre arts to young people. She lives in Washington.  Visit her online at stasiawardkehoe.com.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670013196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670013197
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,517,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
"My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In bed at night
When I can't sleep,
I think of Rodya dreaming of horses,
Sonya's pale face,
The misdirected loves of the Bennet sisters.
Wish my life were inside a book
So I could turn to the ending,
See if it is a love story
Or a gothic disaster."

"Audition" is only the second novel told in verse that I've read, although I doubt it'll be my last. The story is about Sara, a high school junior, who receives a scholarship to study dance at the Jersey Ballet. Given her `small town' training, Sara has a hard time finding her place in with the other students who have been studying with the Jersey Ballet from a young age. And it only gets worse when she starts her school year at Upton, a private prep school. Having attended public school her entire life, Sara finds herself overwhelmed and alone.

Watching as others find company in the arms of another, and hearing about her best friends relationship back at home, Sara finds herself more alone than ever. Until she meets Remington - who is not only older at twenty-two years old - but an aspiring choreographer at the Jersey Ballet. As Sara finds herself falling deeper for Remington, she rids herself of the girl she used to be. Allowing Rem to take her, believing that what they are, what they are doing is much more - that they are creating a dance.

"Dare I tell them that since I came here to dance
I have been giving pieces of my body away
To ridiculous diets,
To repeated injuries,
To Remington?"

And that maybe I think With each bit of my body
I lose a little piece of my soul.

When Sara's English teacher pulls her aside, to inform her that he feels she's an excellent writer.
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Format: Hardcover
Although it sounded great, Audition ended up being a disappointing read for me. Verse novels are always hit or miss for me, and this one just turned out to be a miss. I don't even know why; verse sometimes works for me and sometimes doesn't, and in this case, it didn't. The writing style felt awkward, with unnatural transitions from line to line, and it just didn't flow the way I wanted it to. That made it really hard to get into the story.

Other than the writing, the main character is the real reason Audition didn't work for me. I couldn't connect with her because we got so little insight into her motivations and decision-making, and I never felt like I got to know her as a person. It bugged me how she kept going back and forth between wanting to stick with dance and wanting to leave that world behind and focus on academics and whining about it. I know it's because she's lonely and frustrated, but her immaturity just bugged me so, so much. Especially her stupidity about the whole Remington thing... God, I just wanted to slap Sara throughout the novel.

The secondary characters were very meh, too. I didn't feel like I got to really know them, either - they're all just personifications of one idea. There's the other dancers, Sara's classmates, her friends from back home, but none of them seemed like real people to me. An then there's Remington, who is the stupidest, most frustrating... blegh. Just no.

Another thing that bugged me were the dance terms. I guess it's realistic, since we're supposed to be reading a dancer's unfiltered thoughts. But there were so many of them, and they don't mean anything to me, so they were just annoying and boring to me. They gave me no insight into the world of dance; they were just random French words to me.
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Format: Hardcover
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 whom 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.
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