As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.
"I'm a dancer in the corps de ballet, just one of the dozens of girls who dance in graceful unison each night. My mother thinks I'm a star, but she's biased." - Bunheads
In my mind any work of fiction about ballet, be it book, movie or a tv show, always features one of the following tired and old plots (sometimes both):
a) girl with a real passion for ballet doesn't have the right body for it.
b) ballet girl must choose between the world of ballet or the real world (usually there's a guy involved).
"We rehearse in old leotards, threadbare tights, and torn leg warmers. We rarely buy new dance clothes because we know that most ballet careers are short-lived." - Bunheads
Although Bunheads falls squarely in category b it was still a good book and not as cliched as some ballet themed books (or movies) can get. The fact that Flack is a former dancer herself gives the narration a certain credibility and she does write a good book. It follows Hannah, a corps de ballet dancer at the prestigious Manhattan Ballet (supposedly modeled on NYCB where Flack was a dancer for several years) and her friends and acquaintances in the ballet. It centers around a time in her life where she begins to doubt how much she is willing to continue giving up for ballet while at the same time underlining how much she loves to perform and her ambition to be promoted. The characters were interesting and I especially enjoyed that the girls who danced with Hannah weren't labelled as "the bitchy one", "the goody goody" and so on. Hannah's relationship with best friend/sometimes rival was complex and I found it refreshing that two girls co-existing in such a competitive atmosphere could actually be happy for each other or comfort one another even though they might be competing for similar roles.
I wasn't a massive fan of the love interest, in my mind he came off as an inconsiderate jerk but thankfully he wasn't the only thing on Hannah's mind. He was really the only character in the book I found one-dimensional.
On the whole I really enjoyed this book, it was a quick and easy read but still more than just the usual chick lit I'll forget about tomorrow.