Let me start by saying that if you’re looking for a book about ballet, this isn’t it. I think that coming of age stories are vast and all kinds of different. For this particular character, it was a confusing time. She’s at an age where I think most boys and girls are most curious about sex, with their changing bodies and all those new hormones. I also believe her home life and all the questions she has about her parent’s relationship contributed to her thoughts and actions. So, really, her story wasn’t shocking to me. It really wasn’t hard to get through. I got it. I think I probably would have had a problem with it had the ending been different.
With that said, I don’t think this book will appeal to everyone, as you can probably deduce from the very mixed reviews this book has gotten since its release. What’s funny is that Various Positions was released as Adult Fiction in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and YA here in the US. Normally it’s the other way around. There are quite a lot of sexual references and some sexual situations that might make people uncomfortable, and not just because it’s coming from a fourteen-year-old girl. I do want to point out that nothing illegal happens in this book, so don’t let that scare you away. Are there situations that are questionable? Yes, but it’s part of her journey.
I thought the writing was great though. It’s engrossing and it flows seamlessly. At times I did think Georgia sounded too mature for her age, especially when at other times her insecurities, vulnerability, and innocence were very obvious.
Various Positions might be a truer title on how readers will feel after reading it. From reading several reviews, most everyone has their own unique take. If you feel like taking a chance on something different, something that might take you out of your comfort zone, give it a shot.
Various Positions by Martha Schabas
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux BfYR
Pub Date: February 14th 2012
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she’s dancing. When she is accepted into Canada’s preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it’s not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick’s future at the academy and Georgia’s ambitions as a ballerina.