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Pirouette

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Adopted as babies by two different families, Simone and Hannah have never known they are identical twins. Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at the age of fifteen, they decide to swap places to change the role dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected, and they’re both burdened by the weight of their lies.

How long can Hannah and Simone keep pretending? What will happen when the truth is revealed?

298 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2013

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About the author

Robyn Bavati

5 books37 followers
Robyn Bavati lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is married and has three grown-up children and a cat called Fudgie. She loves visiting schools.

Robyn's favourite children's book is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. She doesn't have a single favourite book for adults. Her answer will change depending on when you happen to ask her.

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5 stars
88 (30%)
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93 (32%)
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81 (27%)
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24 (8%)
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4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 64 reviews
Profile Image for Layla.
7 reviews3 followers
August 30, 2016
Pirouette was a well written book with an amazing plot. From the start it captured me and I couldn’t put it down. I have read and re-read this book yet still I feel like it is the first time!
It starts off when identical twins Simone and Hannah are in a Brazilian orphanage, about to be adopted from different families living in different continents. A kind nurse switches another baby so that Simone and Hannah were both going to Melbourne, Australia.
Then fifteen years later they are both dancers and still have no idea that they have a sister. Simone used to love ballet, but after so many lessons and performances she feels that dance is taking over her life and she doesn’t enjoy it as much. Her real mother was a dancer so now her mother (that adopted her) believes that it is the only thing that Simone has left of her. Hannah on the other hand loves dance so much, but her parents only thing of it as a hobby.
When they both get accepted into Candance, a holiday dance school, coincidentally they are roommates. As they are identical no one, even their own parents, can tell them apart. They switch lives with one another, but how long can it last before they are found out?
This is my favourite book ever and i believe that Robyn Bavati is an exceptional writer. I would definitely recommend it to anyone over the age of eight years old.
Profile Image for Cassi aka Snow White Haggard.
459 reviews154 followers
December 8, 2013
Pirouette just didn't do it for me. At first glance, a Parent Trap-style twins-seperated-at-birth premise just seems too fun to pass up. Factor in the fact that they're twin ballerinas sent off to dancing summer camp (dancing + summer camp too of my favorite story things) where they meet for the first time this book just sounds like it's full of win.

It's not. The problem with this book is that it expects you to set aside your suspension of disbelief way beyond what is possible AND the main characters are supposed to be smart, but so obviously aren't. My problems start when Hannah, the outgoing happy twin, is delayed at the airport by a day which allows her to arrive a day after all the other students so she can meet her sister in private. It's contrived and feels contrived. Another problem, is the speed with which Hannah (who has just met Simone) agrees to the switching for the summer despite the fact it'll wipe this prestigious dance camp off her resume (and she has aspirations of being a professional dancer).

I tried to set that aside as hokey fun. But when Simone, the smart shy twin, begins googling information about DNA tests the bottom kind of fell out for me. There's this whole section where Simone tries to figure out if a DNA test could prove they're identical twins and insists on doing a mail-in DNA test to prove they're twins. Let me break this down for you. Simone (through google) learns that identical twins have identical DNA. She wants to do a DNA test to prove to their parents they are twins. If Simone and Hannah have identical DNA there's no way for the lab where they're mailing the tests to be able to tell that the samples came from two people. For all they know Simone could've sent in two samples of her own DNA and received the same results. As far as proving this her parents, it's a waste of over $300. Also, after going through all the trouble of taking the test and getting the results it's never mentioned again throughout the novel.

(For the record, I did some basic googling about twins & DNA. Apparently they are coming up with tests that might be able to differentiate between identical twins genetically, but we're talking about a mail-in paternity test here).

After the DNA section disappeared and they decide to continue the switch after-camp, the book hit a pretty good stride. Fooling the family and friends while learning more about the others. These sections were the best of the book, enjoyable and fun as they walk, occasionally stumbling, in each other shoes But then, near the end there's another section that's way too hard to believe. To say more would be spoilers, but it's something that would never happen.

Overall this book was not realistic enough for a contemporary YA and the characters weren't enough to carry the story. For younger YA readers, borderline middle-grade, it would probably be more enjoyable than for older YA readers.

I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for kari.
848 reviews
January 9, 2014
I loved the author' first book, Dancing in the Dark and, on the strength of that one, I was sure I'd also love this one. But no. This one has a feeling of detachment from the story, as if the author doesn't care about these characters. It feels more like she was paid to write this book and so she did. In her first book, I felt the passion for telling the story, felt the connection, felt the characters hopes and dreams. Sadly, that is lacking here.
The story has been done before, even being referenced in the book. Two identical twins, separated at birth, find each other and switch places. I think this could have worked if the characters of the twins had been more developed. Why are they so different? Without getting enough of either home life, it is hard to understand.
Additionally, there is very little tension to the story. Yes, there is the possibility they will be caught out in their trade, but it doesn't have any immediacy, at least not to me. The added mystery of who knows their secret was quite a let-down and I guessed it fairly early on. There seems to be a lack of feeling and since the whole book is about how each of them feels about dance, that should be center stage.
There was a big read-bump dealing with one of the twins going to the dentist. First, this whole dental thing with the teeth repairs being different really went nowhere and should have simply been removed as being nonsensical filler. But second, and far worse, the dentist speaks about a "Fischer seal" and that isn't even a correct thing. It is a fissure seal, sealing the fissure in a tooth. I was so bothered by this that I looked it up and there is no such thing in dentistry as a Fischer seal. It took me less than 30 seconds to check on this term. Seriously, authors, you have to look up anything about which you are not 100% positive you know of which you are speaking. If it is glaring wrong to me as a reader, it should give the author pause. This really bothered me and made me feel that the author wasn't actually invested in her story if she couldn't even do less than a minute of research.
All in all, it seems like a hastily tossed together jazz dance instead of a carefully choreographed graceful ballet.
Profile Image for Martha Nobles.
197 reviews23 followers
July 13, 2013
I received the ARC to Pirouette and I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover. I couldn’t wait to read this book. The story was cute and entertaining. It’s a quick read at 312 pages but it is well written story about two sisters finding each other. For those who love the Parent Trap and the show Dance Academy- this is the perfect novel for you to read.
Profile Image for Jess Best.
193 reviews14 followers
May 24, 2017
literally just remembered this from when i borrowed it from a dance friend like 3 years ago...
3 reviews
March 12, 2020
I chose the book Pirouette for my book report. It is written by Robyn Bavati. It is set in present time in Melbourne, Australia and is about identical twin girls Hannah and Simone, who were separated at birth and then find each other fifteen years later.

I think that the author tried to make the reader like Simone more because in the book it had several lines about how Hannah was not nearly as a good a dancer as Simone was. It also said in the book how characters thought that Simone had a sweeter personality than Hannah did. "You are much sweeter when you are alone" was said by Matt, Simone 's boyfriend. He said this because when it was just the two of them it was Simone with him but when they were in a group with friends it was Hannah. The author included how Simone was much smarter than Hannah and was focused on getting good grades. "Your french grades were a little lower than usual" was said by a teacher at Simone's school after she found out that Simone had a twin and they had switched places. My opinion is that Robyn Bavati liked Simone more and tried to make her better than Hannah in every way possible, and I personally like Hannah more. I think that I am the most like Hannah because I have two parents, one little brother and I have the same love of dance.

The plot of Pirouette is interesting because you keep wanting to find to happen next and how the story end. At the start of the book the twins are babies in a Brazilian orphanage. One is meant to go to Texas but a nurse switches her with another baby so that the twins can grow up in the same city but with different families in Melbourne, Australia. Fifteen years later is where the story really starts. The story talks a little about each of their lives where Simone is raised as a dancer by her single mother but hates performing. Hannah on the other hand is raised with two parents and a thirteen year old brother. She loves to dance but her parents see her dancing as just a hobby. The girls meet at a holiday program called "Can Dance" where they meet each other. They get a DNA test to make sure they are identical twins. After "Can Dance" they switch places so can live their dream lives. They go through loads of problems and challenges as their sister. But after one school term they do a performance together to show everyone that they are identical twins.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dancing, and the Parent Trap movies because it follows the same format as the movie. I liked this book because I am fascinated by identical twins and I also like dancing.
Profile Image for Talya.
6 reviews2 followers
July 7, 2016
Pirouette was a really good book. I was about two identical twin sisters who were separated at birth and found each other at a dance summer camp. This book is different to other books written by this author.
The book starts at the orphanage in Brazil, where the two twins are only a couple weeks old. They have been adopted and one is going the Melbourne, Australia and one is going to Dallas, Texas. The orphanage nurse finds another baby with similar weights and sizes that is going to Melbourne and swaps it with the twin going to Dallas. This is so the two identical twins will each be going to a different family in Melbourne. She decides that fate will decide what happens to them.
The story then goes 15 years later where the two girls are getting ready to go to Candance Summer School. Simone’s mum Harriet thinks Simone could be a professional dancer, but Simone doesn’t enjoy dancing anymore. Hannah loves dancing, but her parents see it as just a hobby. Simone does not want to dance at the summer school, but her mum already booked her in. It has taken years for Hannah to convince her parents to let her go.
Hannah’s plane was postponed so Hannah got to Canberra late, and she misses her first class. When she is walking to the sign in desk, she looks in the class and sees a girl doing perfect foutettes. This girl is Simone. Simone walks out of the class and Hannah and Simone look at each other and Simone takes Hannah to her room. After talking a lot Simone and Hannah come to a conclusion that they are long lost sisters. Hannah makes a fake email account and sends an email to the school saying she broke her leg. This is so she can dance in Simone’s place and Simone can have a break from dancing.
When Simone and Hannah decide to switch place at the end of the holidays, they go back to each other’s homes. It starts fine and no one suspects a thing, but as things start to go wrong, will everyone find out their secret?
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,757 reviews285 followers
January 10, 2015

The day that Simone and Hannah were to be born, their parents were on their way to the Brazilan Hospital when their car was struck and the father was killed immediately , but the mother was barely hanging on. The hospital decided before she passed to deliver the babies - two identical twin girls. These girls though at six weeks were separated and sent to two different homes, but by the hand of one of the nurses - they both ended up in Melbourne, Australia. The story then skips to fifteen years later, where we learn that both these girls do ballet and are amazing dancers - just like their biological mother was. The thing is though that Simone would rather study and read than dance, whereas Hannah loves nothing more to be a professional dancer but of course her parents see it as a hobby. When a cancellation spot opens up at a prestigious ballet summer school, Hannah is over the moon and has no idea what awaits her. She arrives to her roommate - only to discover it is Simone - someone who is exactly like her - a mirror image. The girls then discover that they are identical twins and decide to swap lives and live each other's - very Parent Trap style which is one of the reasons I loved this book as that is in my top movies list. What will happen though when their secret is compromised and someone starts sending Simone who is pretending to be Hannah - nasty texts ? Can the girls pull this off and what will happen when the truth and the whole situation is revealed to everyone including their parents, school and friends ?
This was a fun story and fans of the movie/ books The Parent Trap and The Prince and Pauper will enjoy.
Profile Image for BookCupid.
985 reviews67 followers
November 14, 2013
One woman's trash is another woman's treasure.

Hannah and Simone, identical twins separated during an adoption process, meet after years of being apart. Both of them have different family lives; different personalities. And yet they share a special love and hate connection to dance. To make things simple, they switch places so Hannah can dance at a specialized school, and Simone can relax from the twirls. What's the worst that can happen?

Although the plot might resemble The Parent Trap, Bavati spiced things up with a quadrangle love story. The only character that seemed lacking was Hannah, who didn't appear enthused at all to do anything worth while.

A fast read, that will make you wonder the wasted opportunities due to parents and teens lack of communication.
Profile Image for Cass -  Words on Paper.
820 reviews217 followers
Shelved as 'top-wishlist'
July 6, 2017
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

OMG!

I loved DANCING IN THE DARK so, so much.

The cover and synopsis suggest that this book will be a lot more light-hearted, with many more laughs and smiley moments. I love identical twin switcheroo stories. :) I really like dance in fiction and I'm glad that Robyn Bavati has written another dance-related title!
Profile Image for Liralen.
2,652 reviews143 followers
January 29, 2019
A little short on plausibility but altogether cute enough. Pirouette is somewhere between a twin-swap story and a princess-and-the-pauper story. Emphasis on the twin-swap... In this case, both girls are dancers; Simone is less interested in dancing, but Hannah's parents are less supportive of it. They meet at a summer dance programme, and the rest is history...

Two big plausibility problems: first, the bookend bits from the perspective of a worker at the orphanage where Simone and Hannah were adopted...erm. Not my style at all. Too saccharine? The premise is basically that one of them was meant to be adopted to Australia and one of them to Texas, and a worker switches the Texas-bound baby with another Australia-bound baby who just so happens to have the same birthday and general appearance. And I just...wouldn't it have been simpler for one of them to have been adopted to Melbourne and one of them to, say, Perth, and then have one of their families move to the other city or something?

And second...the wrap-up is definitely on the 'easy-peasy' side of things. I can't ding it too hard for that, because it's only ever supposed to be a light story, but I have a hard time believing that a) the school would go along with the girls' plot, and b) the parents wouldn't be more upset.

That said, there were high points. Hannah and Simone and clearly different people (Hannah more outgoing, less academic) with different family lives (Simone is less financially privileged, and her single mother is much more reserved than Hannah's parents). There's no 'good twin' or 'bad twin', and the drama between the two of them is pretty much nonexistent. I really appreciate that there are things about both twins that I like. (The romantic interests, though, I can't tell apart.) I'd have loved there to be more dance in the book (since it is, after all, about two girls who dance), but it's generally reasonably fun.
Profile Image for Judith Leipold.
481 reviews5 followers
June 7, 2020
I believe teens would love and READ this book and for me that is sufficient to give it a 3 star rating. A cute remise and highlights some of the (minor) stressors of being a teen today. No real hardship here, these kids live in a safe environment, loving famiiies, healthy relationships with friends. So mostly, it's a day at the beach. It is quick and easy. I finished it in a day, like spending a day with some bubbly pre-teen. But today, I am looking for something a tad deeper
14 reviews
October 9, 2017
This book is amazing. I would recommend it to everyone that loves dancing. It is about two dancers that meet up and realize they are twins. They want to switch lives because one person loves dancing the other doesn't. If you have ever watched "The Parent Trap", it is slightly similar but not quite. It's a really good book!
Profile Image for Roberta.
903 reviews5 followers
Read
February 27, 2021
A Parent Trap-like plot with identical twins separated at birth who meet up at a dance camp for high school students. The twist is that they were adopted by different families and no one was told they had a twin. Good for middle school and up.
5 reviews
May 17, 2018
it was very predictable and girly, but I loved it. It was such an easy read, I wasn't struggling to finish it.
12 reviews
June 11, 2018
Reall good book. Any dancer will love to read this book. It's full of funny moments and I was never bored or uninterested in reading it.
Profile Image for Olivia.
176 reviews
October 5, 2019
I really loved this book and read the entire book during my hockey tournament
Profile Image for Mieneke.
782 reviews84 followers
November 25, 2013
One of my (not so) guilty pleasures is watching dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and films such as Step Up and Honey. So when Robyn Bavati's Pirouette came across my radar during my prep for last summer's anticipated books posts, unsurprisingly it set off all kinds of "you have to read this"-alerts. And well it should have, because it was just as entertaining as the best episodes of SYTYCD, those where there are choreographies that make you cry they're so beautiful and emotional and choreographies that just make you grin like mad at their tricks and entertainment value.

A variation on The Parent Trap, a film the book itself references at one point, Pirouette starts out in an orphanage in Brazil when a nurse discovers that the twin baby girls she's caring for are to be adopted separately. Shocked at the cruelty of this, she does what she can to nudge fate along a bit and give the girls the best chance at meeting one another by chance. Fast forward fifteen years and we meet Simone and Hannah, now in their teens and both living in Melbourne. While their lives are completely different from each other, unbeknownst they share one thing: dance. And it's dance that ultimately brings them together.

I loved the way Bavati introduces the situation the girls find themselves in through the viewpoint of their Brazilian nurse. The ways she introduces the girls to each other is equally well conceived by first having one glimpse the other out of the corner of her eye and dismissing her as her own reflection in a window. It made me wonder whether they'd passed each other before and dismissed it in a similar manner. When the actual meeting occurs it is at once lovely, but also a bit surreal. The girls instantly accept that they've been separated at birth and now reunited. There's no denial, no anger at what they've missed in not having a sister, just joy at having found each other, which is all well and good, but I'd have expected at least a token attempt at anger and/or disbelief.

Bavati structures her story well, using the time spent at camp to establish both the girls' characters and the differences between them and allowing them to get to know each other, in addition to creating a plausible reason for the twins to decide to swap. The second act sees the girls separate once more, but this time they learn more about one another by getting to know those who love them. In the last act everything is brought together and all is resolved. The story is followed by an epilogue that returns us to Brazil, to the nurse who started the girls off on their journey, who know learns how it all ended. I found this a very satisfying way of telling the story, tying off all loose ends and firing all Chekov's guns that the author had slipped into the story.

What I really appreciated about this book was that there were no villains. There aren't mean girls, bad boys, or awful parents, this story is about these girls and their journey discovering each other, but more importantly discovering themselves. It puts the focus squarely on Simone and Hannah and it makes even the dance secondary to the development of their relationships, with each other, but also with their families and (boy)friends. The parents are present in the story and even Simone's somewhat distant, seemingly cold stage mum is depicted with empathy. What I did find hard to swallow was the fact that none of these parents suspected anything during the swap. No matter how much they look alike, how can you not notice this? I might have believed it of Simone's mum, who in addition to being emotionally distant is also a busy professional and away from home a lot. However, in the case of Hannah's parents it felt rather forced and far-fetched. Their home is described as loving, warm, and close-knit. If that is true how could they have missed the fact that the girl that came home was so different from their own daughter?

Despite this huge hurdle to my suspension of disbelief, I really enjoyed myself with Pirouette. The scenes set at the dance summer camp and later at the dance school where great and the final performance was beautifully described and I almost wish I could see the dance for real. Hannah and Simone's story is a lovely re-imagining of an age-old story and a really fun read to boot. If you enjoy dance shows and films, then I highly recommend you pick up Pirouette. Meanwhile, I'm off to watch another episode of So You Think You Can Dance...

This book was provided for review by the publisher.
Profile Image for Francine Soleil.
304 reviews15 followers
July 24, 2013
more of a 3.5, i think. review posted here: http://alwayslostinbooks.wordpress.co...

Thinking Parent Trap? Funny enough, Robyn Bavati mentions that movie in the book. Maybe we can think of this as a retelling of one of our childhood movies (if you’re part of my generation anyway). It’s quite different though despite the few similarities. I think that Robyn Bavati knows her teen movies because she made a lot of references to them in the book. I particularly like pop culture references so that was a plus for me.

Hannah and Simone are very identical twins, but are completely two different people. Due to the orphanage policies, they were forced to grow up separately without even knowing about each other. That is until they met at the Candance summer camp. The story is quite simple really. They get to know each other while they are at Candance. They want each other’s lives so they trade and come home to each other’s families. But things don’t work out the way they wanted. The plot is very much predictable, and I wish that Robyn Bavati gave more of her spin into a story like this.

I am very much hopeful that this book isn’t the final version because I think that it would suit it better if it were more developed. According to Goodreads, this book is 312-pages long, but reading it felt a lot shorter than that and I’m not really sure why. I think that the book started out really great, but it started becoming draggy somewhere along the middle. There just wasn’t really much to go on. The love interests in the book were like side notes only. I didn’t really get to know them much so I didn’t really fall in love with them. Their set of friends weren’t given much character either. Simone’s mother might need some more highlighting too, and I don’t have much to say about Hannah’s mother – the typical have-you-eaten kind. Robyn Bavati was able to make me smile and interested enough for some part, but I really wanted more. I think the author is capable of writing better because of the few shining moments that I found in this book. And I think it wouldn’t hurt if there was added humor.

Considering how the twins lives revolve around dancing, there were a lot of dancing terms in the book, mostly classical ballet. I’ve always wanted to try ballet, but I do not know the terms, and I’m not sure if mentioning the name of the moves is enough to gain interest from a reader. I think it’s very tricky to write books about dancing or music, and it would be great if more emotions were put into it. I wish that the passion or beauty for dancing shone through more. I’d like to be a dancer, even if it’s just in my imaginations. I need more oomph!

If I were one of the twins, I would definitely be Simone Stark. She is the shy, reserved and awkward twin who loves reading and dreams of working with languages or editing books. However, her mother pushes her to become something that she doesn’t want at all – professional dancer. That is totally me! (not the dancer part though) Hannah Segal, on the other hand, is lively, outgoing, and confident. She loves dancing and she definitely wants to pursue a career in that particular field, but her parents think that it’s a waste of time.

The other two characters that I liked in this book were Hannah’s father and brother – Manfred and Adam. Manfred is the sweetest gentle giant ever. He’s really kind and caring, and gives bear hugs. He’s also the owner of a publishing company and he always brings home books for his family. I definitely want him for a father! Adam is more of your sweet little brother who loves hanging out with Hannah, even though he might be a little old for that.

Overall, I think the ideas in this book were great, but it needs a lot more flavor. I really hope that what I received wasn’t the final version of the book. However, I do not regret reading Pirouette. It was nice and light, and I was able to finish it effortlessly enough. I was able to connect with some of the characters.
Profile Image for Joséphine (Word Revel).
726 reviews282 followers
December 31, 2014
Once in a while I pick up a book solely because of the author. I've read a book by that author before, loved it and decided to just go ahead and read whatever comes next. That's how it went for Pirouette. Besides knowing that this book revolves around dance (I mean, duh, the title and the cover!) and that Robyn Bavati wrote it, I didn't pay any attention to the synopsis. Maybe I should have. I expected something deeper because that's what Dancing in the Dark was. While Bavati's debut novel was so multi-faceted and rich, her second book, Pirouette wasn't.

Of course, those who are "90s kids" will scream The Parent Trap ! the moment they read the synopsis. Twins who didn't know each other but meet at summer camp? Check. Ok, fine, summer dance school. Same difference here. Said twins who go on to swap lives? Check. On hindsight, Bavati did reference The Parent Trap in the book, so she did acknowledge this for the reader, and so I forgave her for the obvious parallel and read on. And hey! Things like that do happen in real life! So I figured I shouldn't write it off just because it suspiciously reminded me of that movie.

Aside from questioning the originality of the subject matter, the events that unfolded were so sequential and fit together too easily for my liking. In fact, I could probably summarise everything that went down in just a few sentences.

Given that I pretty much could convey the whole plot in a single paragraph, the question then is, why did I keep reading? I kept reading because Bavati's prose delivered. The prologue and epilogue were beautiful, if fleeting. See, I didn't hate the plot. I was just not surprised by any one of the plot elements. Alas, Bavati knows how to weave together words that touch the heart, and so even though I was certain of what the whole book would be like by the end of the third chapter, or so, I didn't put the book away. What I did find to be of great interest to me though, was the fact that one twin had been raised Catholic, while the other had been raised Jewish. That in itself had to be one of the most difficult things to overcome when switching places.

In the end, I would recommend this book to younger audiences of maybe 13 or 14. If it's any indication, the protagonists are 15 years old themselves, so perhaps their lives, which aren't marred with exceeding difficulty, even if they have reasons for unhappiness, don't need to contain such great complexity. Hence the subject matter doesn't call forth that many surprises. Be that as it may, Pirouette is a lovely book very suitable to younger teenagers who enjoy books about dance, about sisters, or both.
Profile Image for Kelly.
397 reviews14 followers
November 22, 2013
I love books. I love dance. So a book about dance? Right up my alley, I figured. And I figured right.

Pirouette is about identical twins Simone and Hannah, separated at birth when they are adopted by two very different families. Neither girl has any clue that the other exists until they meet as roommates at a summer dance intensive when they’re fifteen. At this point, the girls are in very different stages of their dance training: Simone yearns to quit, but her mother insists that she pursue a career in dance; Hannah loves performing, but her parents only see dance as a hobby. So the girls take matters into their own hands: via email, Hannah withdraws from the program while Simone remains enrolled. However, it is Hannah that attends (as Simone), happy for the opportunity to take advanced classes, while Simone revels in her newfound freedom and enjoys three whole dance-free weeks. Then, to take it one step (or should I say “one eight count”?) further, the girls return to opposite homes. For months, they attend one another’s schools, hang out with one another’s friends, and learn one another’s choreography. Eventually, of course, they’ve gotta face the music (and their parents) and tell the truth about their desires.

This is a good book: it’s got a familiar story (Parent Trap, anyone?) with a performing-artsy twist that I rather enjoyed. It’s simple and easy to read without being dull; along with the reading level, the content is appropriate for middle school as well, so this is a potential favorite for years’ worth of dancers and fiction lovers.

I liked both of the girls (didn’t have a favorite sister) and enjoyed watching them figure things out, navigating through unfamiliar halls at school and unfamiliar family dynamics at home. The most entertaining thing about this book is not knowing when the girls will get caught. You know it has to happen eventually, but when? There were many times that I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, thinking, How are they gonna get out of this one? But eventually they are found out, of course (I won’t tell how), and the ending is just what you’d expect from a book as fun and feel-good as this one.

This isn’t really a spoiler, I don’t think, but the girls perform together once in the course of the book, to a cover of “The Man in the Mirror,” and they each wear one pointe shoe. The routine is described in just enough detail to make it sound fascinating. I am so bummed that this performance is not actually out there on YouTube, waiting for me to find it and watch it over and over like I do with my favorite So You Think You Can Dance routines.

All in all: Worth reading if you like YA, or dance, or both. I enjoyed reading it once, but it was a little “young” for me to read over and over. I think middle- and high-school readers would find this more of a recurring favorite than I did.

Note: I received a free review copy of this book via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,742 reviews102 followers
August 12, 2016
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I adored Bavati's debut Dancing in the Dark so I was thrilled to see another work from her, especially because it also focused on ballet. Performing arts books are one of my weaknesses so it was a no-brainer that I'd want to check this one out too. Unlike Dancing in the Dark, this is a much lighter tale. It had some good moments but ultimately failed to make much of an impression on me.

The plot is pretty easy to describe (think The Parent Trap): twin girls are orphaned at nearly at birth and adopted by two separate families, both located in Melbourne, Australia. Both take dance, in homage to their birth mother. While one's life utterly revolves around ballet to her dismay, the other craves more in her life. They meet when both are enrolled at a summer dance school and hatch a crazy plot to switch places long-term. Therefore Simone can have a break from dance and experience a more academically rigorous schedule while Hannah will get to dance full-time. But can they keep this up?

I adore switching places plots a la The Parent Trap and even Freaky Friday despite their improbability. Something in there just speaks to me and my wish fulfillment. I totally wanted an identical twin when I was a child and I would have loved trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. Still I do wonder about the plausibility of it all: could you really sustain such a long-term masquerade with no one getting suspicious? These girls have families, friends, teachers, etc. who know them to some degree and no one really caught on?

Also as a big fan of dance books, I didn't feel like I got enough dancing in this book. The story seemed more concerned with the girls (as is its right) than with describing the difficult life of a dancer with the foot pains as they're crammed into toe shoes and the exquisite pleasure of mastering a difficult step. Instead there are romances for each of the girls and the struggles of maintaining a secret life before the ultimate unveiling, which was cool though I'm not sure about the steps they took to bring it about. I mean, they got some help from people I don't think should have helped. Anyway all's well that ends well.

I don't have much to say about the girls. Simone is more quiet and reserved to Hannah's boisterous outgoingness. This much is noticed but the girls do enough to fake it and get by. Their parents are interesting enough with limited sketches of the other people around them. I never felt much of a connection to anyone and was actively rooting for the girls to reveal the truth instead of being on pins and needles to see how they'd keep going (which I think might have happened if I had felt more connected.)

Overall: This was a cute enough story-perfect for a palate cleanser after something tough and it goes by very fast if you just want a light easy read.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,670 reviews1,269 followers
July 24, 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux and Netgalley.)
Identical twins Hannah and Simone were split up when they were adopted by different families from a Brazilian orphanage, but thanks to a nurse at the orphanage both ended up in Melbourne Australia.

Now 15-years-old, both girls have a gift for dance, but while Simone attends an exclusive dance academy, Hannah has only been allowed to dance part-time as a hobby.

When they meet at a dance summer camp, they can’t quite believe what they immediately know is true – that they are identical twins.

Simone wants something more from her life though, whilst for Hannah it is all about the dance, and so they decide to switch lives. After dance camp Hannah goes home to Simone’s mother and goes to Simone’s dance school, while Simone goes home to Hannah’s family, and goes to her regular high school.
How long can the girls keep up the pretence though? When will they get found out? And can Hannah ever be as good of a dancer as Simone?


This was an okay story of identical twins who were split up, but found their way back to each other through dance.

Simone and Hannah were quite different characters. Simone was more reserved, and had ambitions other than dance, whilst Hannah loved the spotlight and wanted a career in dance.
I was surprised that when they swapped lives people didn’t realise that something was going on, as I can’t imagine pretending to be someone else is very easy.
I felt quite sorry for Simone whose mother pushed her a lot, and I also felt sorry for Hannah, who felt that she didn’t have the opportunity to do what she really wanted to do. Switching lives seemed like quite a drastic option though!

The storyline in this book was okay, and I liked how the two girls found each other, although it was very reminiscent of the film ‘The Parent Trap’. The author did comment on this in the book though which was good! I wasn’t sure that the girls could really get away with switching lives, and they did run into some problems, but things did seem to be relatively easy for them, which I wasn’t sure was really very realistic.
I thought the ending was okay, although again, I was surprised that there weren’t more fireworks, I honestly believe that my mother would never forgive me if I tried to pull something like that, but Simone and Hannah seemed to get away quite lightly really. I was pleased that there was a happy ending though!
Overall; an okay story about twins discovering each other through dance.
6.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Debbie.
364 reviews268 followers
November 12, 2013
Also published on my blog at http://snugglingonthesofa.com/book-re...

I selected this book to read because it looked like a fun middle grade. I enjoy books and films about dancing, so this certainly sounded like a book for me.

From the blurb alone it is obvious the similarities between this and the well known film The Parent Trap (and the lesser known It Takes Two). Basically where twins are separated at birth, meet at some sort of summer camp and decide to swap lives. As a side note, I never really understood how summer camps work and how children get sent away from the parents for basically the whole summer?! Is this just an American thing? Or just something they like to emphasise in books and films?

In an ironic way, Simone has rich parents who enroll her in a special dancing academy and push her to dance at every opportunity, but she doesn’t enjoy it. Hannah’s parents would rather she focus on her studies, but her heart is in dancing. Unfortunately she is restricted to dancing as a hobby; only after school and weekends.

By some stroke of luck they both end up at a dancing summer camp. After conspiring they decide that Hannah should pretend to be Simone so she can join advanced classes, and tell the camp that Hannah is no longer coming so that Simone can have some time off from dancing. Both characters are equally likeable, with Hannah growing in confidence as a performer and someone with natural talent. Simone, on the other hand, is a little spoilt, and instead finds her feet in happiness away from dancing.

However, it becomes complicated when they decide to continue their switch back home, so Hannah can attend the dancing academy and Simone can spend her time reading. But how will they adjust to life away from their family? And it becomes even more complicated when boys become involved….

Pirouette was a fun read that I sped through. It was predictable but it really showed how we take things for granted sometimes, and what it would be like to live someone else’s life. Definitely recommended for younger dancing fans; 3 sofas!
Profile Image for Samantha.
665 reviews5 followers
February 5, 2017
While this book was enjoyable, it felt a little more flawed than the other book I read from this author. With this book, identical twins Simone and Hannah are adopted into separate families when babies. Dance is what causes them to meet when teens, and they decide then to switch lives, each wanting what the other has.

This idea has been done before, but it's still a fun one, and so I decided to give the book a chance. It was enjoyable and the tension of their secrets and a fear of discovery is what kept me turning the pages. However, there were a few things that could have been done better.

The first is how quickly the twins decided to switch lives. I get it. You find out you have a twin and this twin has the life you want, but they hardly discussed the idea at all before switching. It just kind of happened.

Second, the DNA test. What was the point of that? I get they want to make sure they really are twins, but it never gets mentioned again, and so felt pointless. There's literally no stakes with it, as you the reader know they're twins.

Third, it's odd how many favorites they share. I don't know a ton about twins, but I'm pretty sure they like different things, just like they have different personalities. A small nitpick, but it still took me out of the story for a moment.

Fourth, a spoiler bit for near the end, so I'll stay vague. If somebody in that position found out, I don't think she would do what she then did. It didn't feel responsible.

Then there's the person who threatens to spill their secret. The twist for that felt like a letdown.

So, there were some bits that felt unneeded or not explored fully enough, but I still enjoyed the book. It was a fun twin swap story, and my problems with it didn't stop me from devouring the book. I love the way Bavati writes about dance, and her books are just fun to read. So, even though this review was mostly nitpicks, I still enjoyed what it had to offer.
Profile Image for A Book Vacation.
1,380 reviews715 followers
November 2, 2013
To see my full review:

http://bookvacations.wordpress.com/20...

This is a great MG read for anyone who absolutely adores The Parent Trap and/or ballet. When I was a tween, The Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies and it made me wish I, too, had a twin sister. I wanted that same bond and to be able to do awesome switch tactics like the girls did in the movie. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been less enamored with the movie, but it’s still my childhood favorite, so when I saw the synopsis of Pirouette, I couldn’t wait to read it in hopes of evoking my inner child, even though ballet was never my thing.

I think that younger readers will feel the same way about this novel as I did about The Parent Trap when I was their age. It’s a cute story that brings about all kinds of childhood fantasies about being a twin, and I truly believe MG and YA aged readers will enjoy this novel. As an adult reader, however, I found it somewhat juvenile. But I’m also an adult with an adult mindset, and from the get go, I couldn’t shake the feeling that what Simone and Hannah were doing was a very bad thing, switching families, schools, friends… but I know that if I had read this as a young teen, I wouldn’t have been so judgmental, and that’s why I really recommend it for the MG and YA age group.

Like I said before, it’s a cute story, and it has some amazing themes and morals that remind readers that Simone’s and Hannah’s antics aren’t the best, though they are somewhat funny and we all secretly wish we could pretend alongside them. While the ballet portion of the novel was a bit over my head because I never took ballet as a child, I think it was the perfect backdrop for this story, and I highly recommend it to those who are more familiar with ballet.
May 31, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this book- so much so that I devoured it in less than a day (which is rare for me these days). The plot involves two things I love- twin stories and dance.
Honestly, I felt the writing style a tad amateurish in places (which is why I deducted a star) but overall is was very gripping and readable- the mark of a good book is to sit down with it and clear 100 pages without even noticing, and I definitely did that. I guess I am a little overly critical with writing style, being a writer myself. Also, I am older than the target demographic- as a teenager, I would have had absolutely no criticism, I think.

The dance stuff I truly adored. I completely relate to Hannah and would probably make the same decision in her situation. I empathised with her desire to do nothing but dance and how she was practically foaming at the mouth to swap places with Simone. I shared her joy as she pushed herself to prove she had earned a place in VSD, despite the deception she used to get there.
Bavati beautifully captures the different attitudes towards dance- those who cannot imagine doing anything else and those who cannot stand the overwhelming pressure of it. The use of twins definitely showed those differences well and gave a prime opportunity to tell a story about the importance of following your heart and not others' expectations.

The ending, I felt, was a tad unrealistic... but it left me with such a warm and fuzzy feeling that I'm glad Bavati chose to do it.

Overall, a really good read for anyone who loves dance. There are some ballet terms used and not explained, but it's the basics that most people can understand (I think- ballet terms are second nature to me, but I knew what most of them were before I started studying). Otherwise, a ballet dictionary wouldn't be unhelpful to have at hand.
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