**An ARC of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. And honest it is.**
**To be released May 26th, 2015.**
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
Black Swan in-frickin’-deed. I couldn’t finish this book. I’ll usually read at least halfway through a book before posting a review about it but I didn’t even make it that far. When you cringe while reading each page, you know it’s time to quit.
The book is told from the perspectives of three different girls studying to be ballet dancers. None of the characters were likable. Bette, the resident Mean Girl and perfect ballerina, is just psychotic and evil. She doesn’t like anyone, especially herself and she puts everyone through crap that is just crazy. June, the ostracized half-Korean girl, self-isolates causing all sorts of loneliness problems and has major self-esteem issues. Gigi, the new black girl from California, obsesses over another girl’s boyfriend and kind of notices that the other girls are insane but still brings attention to herself. Admittedly, Gigi is the relatable one in this book. She’s the nicest and least crazy. But she’s still not normal and not all that likable.
I guess it was interesting to get a look into the world of ballet which, if other reviewers are correct, is quite accurate. Actually, it was mostly just disturbing. The girls all starved themselves to be the perfect body size and shape of a dancer; Every one of them had some kind of eating disorder. Everyone was mean and lied to each other and made passive-agressive remarks and had extremely low self-esteem and wanted everyone else around them to have insanely low-esteem as well. It’s like these young girls were placed in close living quarters as an experiment on how to turn everyone against each other and create sociopaths.
And the directors of the ballet company almost did things to discourage bullying and craziness but did nothing to stop it. Ew, and there were allusions to the director becoming romantically involved with young students. I just–Can’t.
So I couldn’t even read halfway through this book. I’m afraid of what legitimately insane things will happen. This book creeped me out.
Sexual Content: Moderate (as far as I read, anyway. I’m sure things would have steamed up even more if I’d kept reading)