Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bookanista Thursday: AUDITION by Stasia Kehoe Makes the Cut!

I have a confession to make: AUDITION by Stasia Kehoe, is the first verse novel I have read.  I haven't purposely stayed away from them or anything, it just never really occured to me to branch out into the genre.  I usually stick to reading traditional novels because they're familiar and I feel like I'm  "studying the craft" by reading them.

Then I read Kehoe's novel in verse, and let me tell you, THAT is a study in craft.

Honestly, the way she works with this art form left me completely wonderstruck at the fact that a beautiful, cohesive story could be told so eloquently through a series of poems.  I am in awe.  So without further adieu, I present to you AUDITION:

From Goodreads: 

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.

My Thoughts:

As I said before, this was my first introduction to a novel in verse.  I read it months ago, and I am STILL in awe at how Kehoe so seamlessly wove together the moments that tell Sara's story, line by line, in beautiful, spare verse.  Finding the right words to write a scene in a is hard enough.  But this novel makes regular old prose seem like a luxury.  Somehow, Kehoe was able to get down to the most striking, pure words to tell Sara's story.  She makes a dance with them, and this dance is the story of a girl lost and then found.  

Maybe it’s because I am now a mother myself, far removed from 16 and its wants and wishes and insecurities, but I watched Sara set out apprehensively, then give herself over, give herself up to Remington for what, she wasn’t even sure.  And the entire time I hoped/prayed/wished she wouldn’t.  That she’d find another way.  But at the same time, I could also feel the draw of Remington--his dance, his adoration, and the idea of being his inspiration.  Kehoe manages infuse the complexity of Sara's relationships to Rem, dance, writing, and herself into seemingly simple poems and the result is graceful and eloquent.  It feels true.
Secondly, I am not a dancer, so reading this book was like stepping into a different world.  I was absolutely fascinated.  Watching  the struggle that Sara felt each time she stepped onto the floor--the structure vs. letting go, discipline vs. rebellion left me with a whole new perspective of that world.  It seems to me that it's one that is beautiful and brutal at the same time, and I can't imagine a more well-drawn picture.
Whether or not you're into dance, or novels in verse, this is a gorgeous book and an impressive debut, and lucky for you, it's in stores now!
Want to know more about Stasia?  You can find her on:

And don't forget to check out what the other Bookanistas are up to, especially ELANA JOHNSON, who has something VERY EXCITING HAPPENING TODAY!!!
Elana Johnson REVEALS something awesome!!!
LiLa Roecker announces a winner - plus a Past Midnight series giveaway
Christine Fonseca reveals books she cannot wait to read
Beth Revis interviews My Very UnFairytale Life author Anna Staniszewski
Shannon Whitney Messenger interviews Skyship Academy-Pearl Wars author Nick James & agent Jennifer Rofe – with giveaway
Shana Silver burns for Circle of Fire
Carrie Harris devours Deadly
Stasia Ward Kehoe travels to The Day Before