Feb 3, 2012

Posted by in Random | 8 Comments

Review: Various Positions by Martha Schabas

Various 206x300 Review: Various Positions by Martha SchabasVarious Positions by Martha Schabas
February 14, 2012
Farrar Straus Giroux


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.

My Review:

I’m a bit speechless after finishing this one. I thought it was going to be about ballet and the obstacles Georgia has to face in that world. Instead, what I got was one of the worst books that I have ever read. Seriously, this book is so messed up that I don’t even know where to begin. I am a bit disgusted at everything that happened in VARIOUS POSITIONS and although I try to find the good in every book, I can’t think of anything for this one.

Georgia infuriated me. She is supposedly a fourteen year-old who is so committed to ballet but all that she talked about in the book was sex. Everything went back to it and I was flabbergasted. This is a fourteen year-old girl. I get that her family life is pretty unstable, but all of her thoughts shocked me. I haven’t disliked a character this much in a long while.

If you thought this book was about ballet, you thought wrong. Sure, Georgia gets into a ballet academy and practices ballet a lot, but that’s about it. Honestly, this book is about nothing more than sex. I couldn’t believe the thoughts that came to Georgia’s mind. She’s barely even a teenager! And don’t get me started with her family. Everyone in VARIOUS POSITIONS had zero personality and were as flat as any character can be.

I really hate to be harsh about VARIOUS POSITIONS, but I just DID NOT like it at all. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone at all, especially not young teens.

My Rating:

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  1. What a disappointment! :(
    And I would have thought it was about ballet, too. Oh, well. I surely won’t be reading this one anytime soon. Flat characters is something I can’t stand in books.

  2. Well…hmm. It look like such a great book, too! How disappointing. Thanks for letting me know.

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

  3. I would have assumed it was about ballet too! It’s a shame that it’s mostly about sex, especially being that the character is so young. I think the overview is a bit misleading. It does mention sex, but I would have thought it was just a part of the overall story. And this is supposed to be a YA book? Doesn’t sound like a book I would want to read. Thank you for your honest review and saving me from reading a book I probably wouldn’t enjoy.

  4. I finally get to read your review! I remember you talking about this one at ALA. Yikes! Part of me wants to try this book, just to see what I think of it. =P But maybe not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bailey!

  5. Thank you for you honest review. This reminds of a book I read last you. I thought that book was going to be meaningful and thought-provoking, but it turned out to be shallow and dull.

  6. Ouch. Bummer that this one was so bad. I love books about dancers or musicians, but yeah, that blurb alone disturbed me, so I’m not too surprised to hear the characters were disturbing too.


  7. Jamesterc5 says:

    I think what is disturbing is the fact that the sexual thoughts are between the 14 year old and the adult teacher. In these times where you do see some teachers in the news having inappropriate sexual relations with a student, a book that focuses on that is not appropriate and could potentially romanticize this in YA readers. Sex between a minor and an adult is a criminal offense and is prosecuted as such. I am surprised the publisher was not sensitive to this topic.

  8. YES. I also hate to not be able to find something good in a book but this was REALLY disturbing. I absolutely couldn’t believe the things Georgia thought and said. She did NOT seem like a 14 year old girl, and for someone who supposedly didn’t want to be sexual, uhhh. She was. *shudders* I was really disappointed in this one. I (naively) was expecting a thrilling, fun story about the ballet world.

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