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Sash from Sash & Em

I run a blog with my best friend, Em - we love Young Adult literature.

Various Positions - Martha Schabas Since the beginning of time (okay, so maybe not that long), there has been a great debate of "What is YA?". I mean, really? What makes a YA book different from a Middle Grade book and a different from an Adult book? I feel like most people would automatically assume it would be the age of the protagonist. If he/she is between 12-18 (the target audience), then the book is YA. HOWEVER, I would consider Sophie Flack's Bunheads to be YA and her main character is 19. The main character in Various Positions is 14 years old, a ninth grader, and this book is NOT YA .

The synopsis says that the main character, Georgia, is a ballerina and that the only time she truly feels alive is when she's dancing. She's accepted into a prestigous ballet school and then begins to have a crush on her (much older) ballet instructor.

This book is masquerading as a YA book just as much as it's masquerading as a ballet book. The content is neither YA nor does it have anything to do with ballet. Other than the fact that Georgia attends class, where she not-so-YA-ly has SEXUAL (not cutesy crush) thoughts about her 40 year old instructor, ballet is hardly ever mentioned.

Various Positions is an adult book. I don't think a 14 year old girl watching porn in her bedroom and then taking naked photos of herself (while trying to make "seductive faces" to imitate the porn stars) is the type of book I would consider YA. The sex scene at the end is disturbing, disgusting, and WTFery. I understand that the first time is not always magical but I think that scene could and should have been cut out. I especially don't think the message about losing your virginity should be one that involves chugging a beer, grabbing some kid you know from school, heading upstairs to have him sweatily flop around on you, and then yelling "Get off, jerk!". But, maybe I'm crazy.

Also, can I just say, especially in today's society where teen stars are getting younger and younger, that the words 14 year old and sexy should never go together. 14 year olds are CHILDREN, they are sweet and cute and NOT sexy, ever.

I can't even bring myself to give this book ONE star because it offended me so much.

If you're looking for an intelligent, funny, fresh contemporary YA book about ballet I HIGHLY recommend Bunheads by Sophie Flack.