Book Recs: Ballet Fiction

If you're a long-time follower of my blog, you know how much I love ballet. But in case you need the reminder, please see my posts about how every year Alexa and I get tickets to see three shows during the American Ballet Theatre spring-summer season (the exception being this year and last, for obvious reasons). So it shouldn't be a surprise to hear that I love ballet books! That said, there aren't many that fit the bill of what I'm looking for. Thanks to the movie Black Swan, many of the recent ballet books I come across always have this dark, suspenseful element to it and that's not what I want. I want contemporary books where the heroines just love ballet and pursue that dream while juggling every day life (growing up, romance, etc). 

Imagine my surprise when I read not one but two books this year that had exactly that! It seemed like a good time to share a list of recommendations and hopefully you all may have some for me too. 

1. Bunheads by Sophie Flack | I read this in 2012 (I'm long overdue for a re-read) but when I think of YA contemporary ballet fiction, this is the first the comes to mind. The author was a ballerina at the New York City Ballet and that experience shows in her story. 

2. Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau | I mean, a sixteen year-old aspiring ballerina goes to Paris for a summer elite ballet program and meets a really cute guy along the way? I was pretty much guaranteed to love this. 

3. The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk | I read this last month and it's one of my favorite books of 2021. It's a different kind of ballet book and tackles some really important topics but at its core, it's about one young woman's love of dance. 

4. A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin | I will forever have a soft spot for this book. I read it in middle school and it was the first book that ever made me cry. It's about ballet, friendship, and loss. I re-reread it back in 2014 and it still gave me all the feelings. 

5. I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest | This definitely ballet-lite but it's still a fun, cute book about a young girl who goes on a road trip to audition for a dance conservatory against her mother's wishes. 

6. Pointe by Brandy Colbert | Another ballet-lite novel, but much heavier in other aspects. Theo is an aspiring ballerina but she's juggling a lot in her personal life which is far more central to the story. 

Have you read any of these and if so, which is your favorite?
And do you have any ballet fiction recs for me?


with love,