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Various Positions

av Martha Schabas

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
11612183,034 (3.15)4
When talented, dedicated fourteen-year-old Georgia Slade becomes a student in an elite Toronto ballet academy, her confusing feelings toward one of her teachers lead to disaster.
Dance! (11)
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» Se även 4 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 12 (nästa | visa alla)
Fantastically well written, darkly disturbing, and very adult. Whoever shelved this book as YA must have been the same guy who wrote the synopsis inside the dust jacket. He obviously read a different book.

Like my fellow Goodreads reviewers pointed out, the synopsis is very misleading. This isn't really a ballet book and it definitely isn't a YA book. Georgia is only 14, but she is already a deeply disturbed individual. This might be connected to her home life. She is sex-crazed and it is subtly implied that society made her that way.

This book is beautifully structured and written. The author must have some kind of background in psychology. I can see why this book offended the other reviewers on Goodreads, but the author isn't saying that all 14-year-olds are sex maniacs. Instead, she's painting a gorgeous portrait of ONE individual that we, as a society, created.

Very interesting. Read it with an open mind. If you get a chance, go to your local bookstore and move all the copies of "Various Positions" from the YA section to Fiction.

Also, isn't the cover gorgeous? ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Being a dancer, I could appreciate much of what the main character went through during the course of this book. Dancers tend to have a different perspective on life, and this book portrayed that. It reminded me of the movie "Black Swan."
However, this book was awkward to get through. The way it was written made it seem as though it were meant for a younger audience, although the contents show that that is clearly not the case.
I liked this book, but I will not be reading it again. ( )
  Shelby_Kuzma | May 25, 2013 |
Writer Lynn Coady sort of sums this novel up perfectly, with her back cover blurb: "The ever-shifting fault lines between the sex lives and sexual objectification of teenaged girls are traversed with all the artful nuance and precision of the ballet itself...a gripping and unflinching novel."

This is Shabas' first novel and it is mostly tight. The first few chapters were overly detail-laden - every bit of minutiae, "I folded the paper back into the envelope" sort of stuff, is noted. This took away momentum very early on but by about page 60...it was worked out and the action and details being written about help propel the story forward.

This novel is fairly dark and twisty. I spent a lot of time in this world so can identify completely and while I felt a lot of the story was well handled, at moments, it felt like a characterization in a spooferific and clichéd way. Hence, the dreaded 3-star rating.

Shabas definitely has talent and I look forward to her next book. She is a bold writer. ( )
  JooniperD | Apr 5, 2013 |
Wow, what a roller-coaster ride. VARIOUS POSITIONS was an emotional read for me. I had that constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was very, very wrong, and I couldn't do anything to stop it. So much like that proverbial train wreck everyone talks about, this book held my attention through and through, and I just could not look away.

Georgia, the 14 year old ballerina protagonist seemed too mature, and yet too naive for her age. She spoke in a way that was much older than she was, and yet did not have the social skills that a 14-year-old girl should have. She misinterpreted nearly everyone around her. By the end of the book I was left wondering if maybe she lived with a spectrum disorder -- not a severe one, but just enough to affect her social interactions.

Halfway through the book Georgia starts to have sexual feelings towards her ballet instructor. This sets the wheels in motion for the catastrophe alluded to in the prologue. She deludes herself completely into believing he feels the same way towards her, and ends up making some very fatal, career-damning mistakes because of it.

Nearly every thought that crossed Georgia's mind made its way back to sex. I get that teenage girls are starting to grow into womanhood and yes, even at that age, think about sex. But when I was fourteen, I didn't ONLY think of sex. I thought about my friends, and my personal trainer, my athletic career, and sex, too. I don't think it's uncommon for sex to at least be talked about in that age range, but when it's all a girl can think about I think that there's something wrong there.


Now, all these points may seem negative, but trust me, they're not. I really did love this book. I could see that something was wrong with Georgia, sympathize with her when her parents' marriage fell apart, and even understand a crush on her teacher -- a stable male influence in her life. Coupled with the fact that her parents had the same student-teacher relationship when they met, I understood that it make perfect sense to Georgia, and she used that as more ammunition to further her delusions.


I think VARIOUS POSITIONS is an important book, or at least, is has an important message. VARIOUS POSITIONS opens the door to great conversation, about eating disorders and pressures for thinness, and also about how girls younger and younger are becoming more and more sexualized. If you can handle lewd comments from teenagers, and enjoy a good ballet book, I'd recommend reading VARIOUS POSITIONS. It was an entertaining read, with a sympathetic protagonist/antagonist. ( )
  PrettyDeadly | Mar 31, 2013 |
Wow, what a roller-coaster ride. VARIOUS POSITIONS was an emotional read for me. I had that constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was very, very wrong, and I couldn't do anything to stop it. So much like that proverbial train wreck everyone talks about, this book held my attention through and through, and I just could not look away.

Georgia, the 14 year old ballerina protagonist seemed too mature, and yet too naive for her age. She spoke in a way that was much older than she was, and yet did not have the social skills that a 14-year-old girl should have. She misinterpreted nearly everyone around her. By the end of the book I was left wondering if maybe she lived with a spectrum disorder -- not a severe one, but just enough to affect her social interactions.

Halfway through the book Georgia starts to have sexual feelings towards her ballet instructor. This sets the wheels in motion for the catastrophe alluded to in the prologue. She deludes herself completely into believing he feels the same way towards her, and ends up making some very fatal, career-damning mistakes because of it.

Nearly every thought that crossed Georgia's mind made its way back to sex. I get that teenage girls are starting to grow into womanhood and yes, even at that age, think about sex. But when I was fourteen, I didn't ONLY think of sex. I thought about my friends, and my personal trainer, my athletic career, and sex, too. I don't think it's uncommon for sex to at least be talked about in that age range, but when it's all a girl can think about I think that there's something wrong there.


Now, all these points may seem negative, but trust me, they're not. I really did love this book. I could see that something was wrong with Georgia, sympathize with her when her parents' marriage fell apart, and even understand a crush on her teacher -- a stable male influence in her life. Coupled with the fact that her parents had the same student-teacher relationship when they met, I understood that it make perfect sense to Georgia, and she used that as more ammunition to further her delusions.


I think VARIOUS POSITIONS is an important book, or at least, is has an important message. VARIOUS POSITIONS opens the door to great conversation, about eating disorders and pressures for thinness, and also about how girls younger and younger are becoming more and more sexualized. If you can handle lewd comments from teenagers, and enjoy a good ballet book, I'd recommend reading VARIOUS POSITIONS. It was an entertaining read, with a sympathetic protagonist/antagonist. ( )
  PrettyDeadlyReviews | Nov 27, 2012 |
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When talented, dedicated fourteen-year-old Georgia Slade becomes a student in an elite Toronto ballet academy, her confusing feelings toward one of her teachers lead to disaster.

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