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The Sleeping Beauty

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Sandra is a dancer in the corps of the New York City Ballet who has just been chosen for stardom by the great ballet master George Balanchine. Adam is an explosively gifted new star who has defected to the rival company, the American Ballet Theatre. They're an ambitious young pair on the thrilling precipice of fame, ill-prepared to handle the demands, seductions, expectati ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Riverhead Trade (first published August 4th 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 04, 2010 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was well-written, and the author clearly understands the ballet world very well, but in the end, this book just depressed me.
Pauline Rouse
Jun 26, 2013 Pauline Rouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crying because it was such a perfect story.
Crying because Adam & Sandra had so much potential.
Crying because Sandra couldn't love Adam like he loved her
Crying because everything they both worked for; they lost.
Crying because Sandra lost her two babies.
Crying beacuse Sandra wanted something she could never have.
Crying beacuse Adam cared too much for Sandra.
Crying because I had to watch two lovers slowly drift apart.
Crying beacuse Sandra was so thin, tiny & perfect.
Crying because Adam was
Kewilson Wilson
Oct 14, 2010 Kewilson Wilson rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2007 Renée rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who read literary novels and/or read about dance and dancers.
After reading White Sawn, Black Swan, I found First Love to be somewhat of a let-down. It lacked the compelling quality of the story collection. Clearly this author has spent her time in ballet, but what doesn't translate in this novel is the beauty in the writing and the compassion for the characters. I felt myself unsympathetic to both of the main characters, Adam and Sandra, whereas in many of the short stories of the earlier book, it was the human quality against the harsh backdrop of the wo ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book takes place in the dance world of 1980s NYC, Sandra is a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet and her long-time friend, now lover, Adam, is the star principal dancer at American Ballet Theater. When Balanchine decides create a full-length ballet of "Sleeping Beauty", Sandra becomes his new muse and is placed in the lead role. Dancing for rival companies, the two try to navigate their separate lives and the demands and choices they must make while struggling to maintain a relation ...more
I didn’t finish this one before it was recalled. I may finish it at some point, but I must say that this book wasn’t as impressive as Sharp’s White Swan, Black Swan. One thing that I found annoying was that there are characters from White Swan, Black Swan but they aren’t exactly the same: significant aspects of their life stories have been changed. In other words, at first I was excited to get to know more about the fate of these familiar characters only to find out that they weren’t exactly the ...more
Oct 20, 2010 Paraffin89 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'First Love' as it's title in a way might be misleading, but I think the author projects that subject very well in the book. It is clearly shown when she writes in detail how surprisingly delicate and sometimes confusing love did to the main characters. I love her writing style, very expressive and detail, though sometimes too lengthy.I love the author's idea of First Love, set in the backdrop of 'ballet boom era'. And I wasn't even into dance.But I'm into it's literary style of writing.
Nov 18, 2008 Jenny rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
This really wasn't all that great of a read. It did get into the characters quite a bit but I just didn't really feel all that much for them. I thought it was interesting how the author used Balanchine and Baryshnikov and other dancers of the time to lend it authenticity but I felt it was a bit overdone. I ended up not liking the characters at all and at the end I was like, so? There just really wasn't a point to the story..
Jan 07, 2007 Elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ballet Book People
I've met the author; she's lovely, a former dancer; she knows all the ropes. This book is her first novel and follows her previous book, White Swan, Black Swan.

It's the story of a female corps de ballet dancer who is involved with a male dancer in the corps, but worries that it will affect her career. Basically, she puts dance first.

I would only recommend this book if you are into dance.
This book should never have been released with this unfortunate title--very misleading. But it was finally released under the title originally chosen by the author. Adrienne Sharp is a wordsmith who crafts each story, each character, with intense care--her work lingers in the mind as the subtlety of her characterizations allows the deeper interactions to unfold.
Mar 22, 2010 LaDonna rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I'm a sucker for stories about ballet, but this one was tough to finish. The plot isn't very engaging, none of the characters are likeable, especially Sandra, the "Sleeping Beauty" of the title. Overall I had a very "meh" reaction to this book. I don't think I could recommend it to anyone.
Sep 24, 2008 Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lyrical book that I probably be enjoyed because of the ballet aspect. I guess I'm still not into these DEEP, DARK, ADULT books, unless they have a point besides being DEEP, DARK, and ADULT. Nevertheless, interesting characters, and interesting situations that they're put in.
Jan 23, 2009 Kelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a good book, very beautifully written. I just didn't like how everything ended and what actually happened to the characters. How can a book about ballet not be beautiful though?
Jul 21, 2009 Az rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit long and rambling at parts, but with well-done characters and interesting polot lines. Excellent tacticle details.
Nov 29, 2013 Icela rated it really liked it
This book was so perfect.
Feb 12, 2011 Candace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unreal
A beautifully depicted story of a couple in the New York ballet scene. I enjoyed the book because of the insight into the ballet world and the life of art. Ending is horrid, but beautifully written.
Mar 25, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
For balletomanes. A fictionalized George Ballenchine and two characters out of Sharp's terrific book of short stories "Black Swan/White Swan" (no connection to current movie.
Mar 06, 2009 Barbie rated it liked it
Not bad but some parts a little crass. Not big on the language.
Oct 18, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-lit
I remember reading this a long time ago. Based off of my memory alone it was a really good story!
Gina Hoppes
Boring read and a bit strange as well. I love to read books about dance, but this one is just a disappointment
This book honestly didn't like it so much. It had a sad ending that was sort of confusing
Anna rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2009
Ayumi rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2010
Kenna rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2013
Emily rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2012
Dimilsa rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2011
Julie rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2015
Erin rated it it was ok
Jun 17, 2011
Anne rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2011
Vicki L
Vicki L rated it it was ok
Nov 10, 2016
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Adrienne Sharp entered the world of ballet at age seven and trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet in New York. She received her M.A. with honors from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of Virginia. She has been a fiction fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writer’s Con ...more
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