by Stasia Kehoe
You remember what it's about? In case you don't, here's what Goodreads says:
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.
Here's what I said about AUDITION in a roundabout way before I even read it in this post called IF IT DOESN'T ALMOST KILL YOU, IT'S JUST COKE ZERO. And in case you don't want to actually read the post, the gist of it was this: If you're not sacrificing for it, it's not a dream as much as it's just something you like a lot. Okay, seriously, just go read it because that's not all I said. Anyway, the point is that it was the premise of AUDITION that got me thinking about dreams and what it takes to achieve them.
And now that I've read AUDITION (a few months ago, actually), I can tell you that I still feel the same way. Stronger, actually. See, the thing is we have this tendency to blame other people when our dreams don't come true. And maybe, sometimes, it is the case that your dream falling to pieces is not your fault at all. Say your dream is to go to Mars wearing only tinfoil. You can't help it that this doesn't happen. But a lot of dreams (most, even?) are up to you to make it happen. Up to you to sacrifice, I mean. Take...publishing, for example. We all know publishing is cutthroat and it can bleed you of your sanity. For some people, the obstacles become a bit Job-like, and it seems the trials are greater than any mere mortal should be asked to withstand.
But, really, the dream's not over until you either die or give up. If you die first, well, dang. Sorry. If you give up...maybe the sacrifice is just too great. Maybe, just maybe you don't want it bad enough. Something to think about.
It's what AUDITION gets you thinking about.
So while we're on the topic, I should tell you that AUDITION gets you thinking about a lot, actually. Dance, for one thing. And I love dancing, of any kind (except for clogging--that just kind of wigs me out). But as much as this book deals with dance, it's not actually about dance. It's about, I don't know...sacrifice...pain...heartache--all of these things. But all of these things come about because of one thing: longing. A longing for acceptance, achievement, love, affection, attention, success, glory, hope. It pushes the cry of teenage existence to the forefront: See me! In other words, Do not overlook me, forget me, neglect me, or see me as something other than what I am.
Because that's all a teenager (anyone) really wants, isn't it? To be seen and heard and felt. The problem, of course, seems to be that teens don't always know how to go about being seen. Sometimes, this results in a dream that is formed out of a spark of recognition/success. Remember when your art teacher said, "What a lovely drawing, Johnny!" and you suddenly had aspirations to become an artist? Or when you made money babysitting and wondered if you should be a nanny for the rest of forever? It's easy to form a dream out of something that let us be seen for just a moment. So what happens when you start to realize that the sacrifice to achieve that dream may cost you more than it's worth? This is what AUDITION explores in heart-wrenching detail.
AUDITION is beautiful. So, so poignant and sad and happy and alive. It is poetry, yes, but poetry that reads like narrative. Within a few stanzas, you forget you're reading verse, and then the story simply comes to life, like listening to the lyrics of a song. You will find yourself reading the words out loud just to listen to the sound of it, and sometimes you will whip through because you must know, you must, what will happen to Sara. And you will grip your book tight, and wonder, why, why, why, Sara?? But you might then discover that there are boundaries you too might cross, just like Sara, if you were in the same toe shoes.
This was my first experience with a novel in verse, and I can't think of a more breathtaking initiation. AUDITION is tense and edgy and yet it doesn't grip you by the throat--it captivates you with its grace.
Now go get it, so we can talk about it. The best parts of this book are the parts I can't discuss here without spoiling it for everyone.
Also, be sure to check out Lisa and Laura Roecker's thoughts on AUDITION. You might be surprised what they have to say about AUDITION and dreams.
********************Want a Signed Hardcover of AUDITION?
Click here to enter to win a Signed Hardcover of AUDITION
This giveaway is international and ends Monday, October 24, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.
This giveaway is now closed. And the winner of a signed Hardcover of AUDITION is:
Please email an address to which I can send you your book! Thanks so much to all who entered! Please stay tuned for the next giveaway.
Also, major congratulations to Shannon Whitney Messenger on the sale of her middle grade KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES! Woo-hoo! Be sure to wish Shannon congrats!! *Dances*
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Carolina M Valdez steps up to Audition – with giveaway
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Shelli Johannes-Wells is psyched for some swell book launches!