Review: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
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,
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. Sara begins to see a potential future outside of dance, something she never once bothered to consider before. Is dance really the future she wants for herself? Is Rem’s bed the place she wishes to seek comfort? It takes some time to realize what she wants, but when Sara finally decides what exactly it is that she wants – she transforms into a whole other person, someone with a sort of confidence, someone who is able to let go of her mistakes, in hopes of new beginnings.
“Audition” is a stunning story about self discovery and finding the courage to believe in more.
Given the relationship between Sara and Rem, I would not recommend “Audition” for younger readers.