I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
One of my guilty pleasures is an Australian youth series about a ballet school called 'Dance Academy'. Reading Ballerina brought back all the feels. I know it's promoted as 'the book before there was Black Swan' but I personally think they should have used that card a bit earlier, because the film came out quite some time ago.
I've read in some reviews this is a typical 70's book, with all the themes that are - apparently - present in these books. I don't know if it's right, I haven't read enough 70's books to be able to really say something about it. Ballerina was first published in 1978 but one of the things I found to be most striking when reading it was that it doesn't feel like reading something that's almost 40 years old. OK, they don't use mobile phones and there's a lot of talk about Sovjet Russia, but it never bothered me.
I enjoyed reading it, 450 didn't seem too much, and I really liked the story. It may not be the most original story, but it's a very nice read nevertheless. Near the ending I believed the story was getting a bit too dramatical, but it didn't ruin the story for me. I would recommend this as an easy read.