BOOK REVIEW: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale


Title: The Ballerinas
Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Publication: December 7, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Teen, YA Fiction
Pages: 296


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I love books about dancers. I’m not sure if it’s because I absolutely cannot dance or that I did a few years of ballet as a child, but they are my absolute favorite. There are usually some good dramas intertwined in them. So needless to say I had high expectations. I’m sad to say they did not match up.

Full disclosure, I did not finish this book. Not because it was just a terrible story, but because it was a slow story. I read a lot and I have a lot of books I want to read. I don’t have time to spend weeks on a book because it doesn’t have a hook. I liked some of the characters and the setting, but it was so very slow to pick up. At 30% I still didn’t have any general idea of where the story was going and it was jumping back and forth between current time and the past, which caused even more confusion. So while I tried and pushed forward as much as I could, it came to a point that I just decided it wasn’t a book for me and put it down. The only thing keeping it from a one star review was that it wasn’t bad writing. It was just boring for me.

I’m not saying this book is horrible. I just couldn’t get into it enough to decide to finish it. It was just… meh… to me. But I always encourage people to read on their own. See how it vibes with you as an individual. I always like to give authors two books to see if it’s just their writing style so I will be picking up another book by Rachel Kapelke-Dale to see how I enjoy it. Let me know what you think after you read.

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