Cover Image: The Ballerinas

The Ballerinas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

In this truly engaging story, three friends face challenges, joy and heartbreak in their tutelage at the Paris Opera Ballet. 
After spending 13 years living outside Paris, Delphine returns as a choreographer to her first home, the Paris Opera Ballet. The place that saw her grow as a ballerina, and the place that gave her the best friends she ever had:  Lindsay and Margaux. 
In the competitive world of ballet, friendships are, at best, temporary, but Delphine knows that what she went through with Lindsay and Margaux was an experience that shaped their lives and pushed to the limits. As Delphine reflects in the past and her years if training in Paris, secrets are revealed, and the friendship she thought could survive everything faces the biggest challenge of all: jealousy. 

I truly enjoyed this story, and it gave me a real understanding about the challenges that ballerinas face during their prime years. Delphine is, at best, an unreliable narrator but her POV is also extremely detailed and unique as she reveals how her friendship with Lindsay and Margaux was affected by their career choice. I enjoyed learning the behind the scenes of the ballet world and understanding what it takes to become the best. I truly enjoyed the story!
Was this review helpful?
I love reading books about ballerinas, because I did ballet for 15 years. I found this book very interesting. I loved hearing about the past, and the present of these characters.

Delphine, Lindsay, and Margaux had such a great friendship when they were younger. I enjoyed seeing how their lives played out. I love how the story centered around friendship, and how complex it is.

I feel like people would enjoy this, even if they did not have a background in ballet. It’s pretty straightforward and mainly about the complexities of friendships throughout the years.
Was this review helpful?
I started out thinking this was going a certain way but was I surprised!   Rachel Kapelke-Dale gave life to these artist and made them real.  The Ballerinas were in a journey which became their lives which developed as they grew.  Thank you NetGalley tor this wonderful read.
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This review is my voluntary and unbiased opinion. 

This story is told in alternate timelines. 
Margaux is a 13 year old ballerina admitted to the infamous Paris Opera Ballet. It is quite an honor to be chosen at such a young age. She immediately feels pressure from new student Linsey Price who is beautiful and very talented. Both girls arrive at the prestigious institution hoping to leave behind troubled, dysfunctional family lives. 

It is a rather dark and competitive world amongst the ballerinas who are always working hard to vie for key roles. The artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Nathalie Dorival, becomes fixated on portraying the story of Romanov and the country’s last tsarina. The tumultuous relationships that develop and eventually reunite years later is convoluted and unexpected.
Was this review helpful?
What a wild dance this story was!  Not just a story about a ballerina who ran away from her career, it is the story of lost friendships and regained chances.
Was this review helpful?
This one wasn't what I was expecting, and that's not a bad thing. I enjoyed the backstage look at the lives of professional ballerinas and the multi-faceted pressure of such a career choice. I enjoyed the exploration of complex female friendships, though I was not always sympathetic to the choices of any of the main characters. The dual timeline kept me engaged, and was surprised by some of the dark twists the story took. Definitely an enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a tough one for me to read. I ended up dnfing halfway through. It's a VERY slow burn about ballerinas and women that are competing for everything. It jumps to the past and present a lot which made the book interesting but not enough to make me want to continue it. I didn't care for any of the characters and the writing style just didn't jive for me. I really thought I might like it but I guess not.
Was this review helpful?
While I enjoyed the writing style of the author, I feel the plot needed a little work.  Most of the characters were not like able or someone to root for because they were all so catty and did not have any redeeming qualities.  Overall, the lead up to the accident at the end was a let down, due to the fact that it was all over a tripped shoelace.  I was expecting a much more horrible thing to have happened due to the lead up.  I feels the synopsis of the book was a bit misleading.
Was this review helpful?
I was hesitant to pick up this book and I was correct in thinking it probably wasn't for me. Nobody is likable in this story other than one old lady who Delphine ignores unless she needs something from her. To have reached the heights they have reached, maybe narcissism is a necessity, but it's not enjoyable to read about selfish Delphine, who only remembers her obligations when she needs to do so for her own benefit. All the men in this story are made out to be misogynist buffoons, charming and suave until their true colors are revealed to the women. The writing is good but the subject matter is not for me.
Was this review helpful?
Intriguing psychological thriller that explores aspects of female friendship and competition. The characters are interesting to follow throughout the twists and turns of the story.
Was this review helpful?
I was drawn to this title because of my background in theatre. I enjoyed this one but I felt it was predictable at times. But that could have just because I’ve been on a thriller kick? Definitely still worth the read!
Was this review helpful?
This started as a book between three young girls, Delphine, Margaux, and Lindsay. It constantly alludes to an event that occurred with Lindsay, but it takes way too long to find out what the event was. Delphine is a ballerina-turned-choreographer and clearly makes a lot of bad decisions.

There is a lot of filler in this book and a lot of time-jumping around. It does get hard to follow at times, mostly because the stories that take place in the past have any bearing on what is going on in the present.

Delphine was not a likeable character. I'm not sure if she was written that way or just came across that way, but I feel like we were supposed to emphasize with her... and I didn't. At all. She seemed selfish and immature. Also, she didn't seem that self-aware. Her relationships all fall apart and the common denominator is her.

Overall, this book seemed a bit long and rambling, but I did want to keep reading to find out what happens.
Was this review helpful?
I could not stop reading this book to save my life! I don’t know what it is but I was so intrigued by the storylines and the characters. The author writes with a captivating pace that had me wanting to know more and more and more. The character arcs are brilliantly written. I would classify this as women’s fiction rather than mystery/thriller but I’m definitely putting her on my list of auto buy authors simply for her writing style. Absolutely loved it all!!!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and St Martins Press for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I want to start my review by saying that I know nothing about ballet, and I loved this book! Everything was described in an easy-to-understand manner without being over descriptive. 

I enjoyed that it was a dual time one story, but I really did not like Lindsay in the “present day” timeline. She acted so entitled and was super annoying. How we, I was dying to know what the secret was Margot and Delphine kept from Lindsay all those years. I was surprised when I found out as well. 

I felt this story was very much a nudge for feminism and against the patriarchy, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest. Also, be aware of a trigger warning for abortion. 

Overall, if the few things above do not offend  or trigger you, then I do recommend this one.
Was this review helpful?
I really struggled with this story and the book itself. I thought I was getting myself into a thriller, and expected some kind of adult version of “Dare Me” (which I haven’t read, but have seen). I wouldn’t really label this book as a thriller at all. It felt more adult fiction (with YA flashbacks), but was full of most trigger warnings imaginable (sexual assault, abuse, murder, to just name a few). 

All of the characters are immensely unlikeable and it’s impossible to root for anyone in the mess of story. The thing that kept me reading was this promise of some horrid thing two of the main characters did to the third some 20ish years ago. But the reveal is underwhelming, and at that point there’s already some other major plot point working to wiggle its way into the story. 

The ending of the book felt like the author didn’t know how to end her story after the climax, so settled on wrapping it in a perfect bow. I honestly hated it - the ending, not the book. But the book, I disliked.
Was this review helpful?
I struggled to get through this one, because I was curious to see where the story was going, but not curious enough to constantly want to know what happened. The book jumped to the past and worked its way forward while also maintaining a story in the present day. Not all of the past stories had any impact on what happened in the present day (the one of Delphine at the airport? Why did we need that?).

Delphine was not a likeable character at all. She was self-absorbed and only interested in herself, and then was left wondering why her relationships fell apart. Perhaps this was the result of the world of a ballerina, perhaps this was what it took to be a successful ballerina. I don't know, but it was hard to like the main character. To be honest, I kind of wanted Lindsay's story! This book seemed long but it was only 300-ish pages. Not a lot of action and very slow moving, which is fine if there is character development occuring. In this case, there wasn't.
Was this review helpful?
If you've ever been to the ballet, you've most likely been captivated by the poise, the control, and the movements of the dancers. But behind the grace and beauty on stage, there's a very different world - one that author Rachel Kapelke-Dale explores in The Ballerinas...

Full review published on NightsAndWeekends.com - and aired on Shelf Discovery
Was this review helpful?
This book had promise but failed to capture my attention. There were fleeting moments of interest and inteigue, but for the most part I found myself indifferent.
Was this review helpful?
The Ballerinas is an interesting read about friendship among 3 ballerinas in Paris. The book was engaging from the beginning to the end.
Was this review helpful?
Sadly, this book did not work for me The first 30% of this book had SO much potential, but not much happened after to keep my interest. I just could not connect with any of the characters because there were not any redeeming qualities that made me root for anyone. The book did not feel very thrilling due to it being very slow. The plot was also confusing and I could not decide what exactly the point of the book was. The writing was fine, but I felt as though the time jumps did not have a complete purpose and instead made it very hard to follow.
Was this review helpful?