Sunday, March 17, 2013

{Review} Various Positions by Martha Schabas

Title: Various Positions
Author: Martha Schabas
Format: NetGalley ebook ARC
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release date: February 14, 2012
Date Read: March 17, 2013
Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she's dancing. When she is accepted into Canada's preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it's not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina.


Dude, that was a really weird book.

Weird in the way that you're going to remember it, but not in a good way.

VARIOUS POSITIONS I'd love to see you try to come up with a dirtier title than that shit is the story of fourteen year old Georgia and her adventures in seducing her ballet teacher, copying porn poses, acting like an idiot, and hurting everyone around her.

I mean, it sounds about right to me.

VARIOUS POSITIONS had a really strange plot, because it wasn't about the ballet. It was about a seriously fucked-up girl from a fucked-up family living in a fucked-up world.

Sounds like me.

I didn't enjoy the odd plot. I had high hopes when I first read the blurb, mostly because it was being compared to The Black Swan for teenagers (which I loved). However, it wasn't what I was looking for at all.

I understand that VARIOUS POSITIONS is about a girl experimenting with her own sexuality, but as someone Georgia's age and ten times more perverted (hey, I was raised in a French family), her sexual thoughts were downright disturbing.

She gives forty-year old men 'suggestive faces', tries kissing her ballet teacher Roderick, and can't look a single person in the eye without imagining herself having sex with them. 

I mean, I don't even do that and that's saying something.

The writing, I had to admit, was beautiful. Schabas is a very talented writer, because the style was quite beautiful. However, the plot and characters dragged her debut novel down. VARIOUS POSITIONS never got dull, but it was never quite absorbing, either.

I hated every single character in VARIOUS POSITIONS. There was not one redeemable character that I grew to love, and most of all, I hated Georgia.

Georgia screws up massively, and then blames everyone but herself. She constantly shames the more 'sexual' girls for not acting as virginal as she does. By sexual, I mean swiping on some lipgloss. That's right: Georgia mentally taunts the other girls and makes fun of them for wearing an ounce of makeup.

Bitch, when I go shopping, I do go for the shirt that makes my boobs look big! And I do like wearing makeup, because it makes me look better. I feel more confident with it, and as a result I TURN INTO A FUCKING BADASS.

And I have plenty of 'self-respect', so fuck you.

Georgia doesn't take responsibility for her actions, and her age is not an excuse to act like a fucking moron. Georgia puts her friend in the hospital for anorexia with her seriously flawed 'diet' and doesn't think about it twice. She has consensual, willing unprotected sex with another guy and suddenly gets up, calls him names, and acts like he's raped her. Georgia believes that her ballet teacher Roderick lusts after her (though there are absolutely no indications) and tries to make out with him. Even though he pushes her away immediately, he gets in huge trouble, and is labeled a pedophile and a predator.

I'm probably more immature than Georgia, but I know not to take naked pictures of myself and send them to Roderick.



Roderick is an asshole and a dickface, but he doesn't deserve what he got. Even though Georgia promised to tell everyone he wasn't the one that kissed her, his reputation will be forever tainted, and Georgia will just be that poor girl who made a little mistake and got to go to another new.

It's so unfair and I nearly threw the book across the room.

All of Georgia's 'friends' are bitchy, one-dimensional, and unlikable. Georgia's parents seriously screwed her up, and their relationship with her was strained and sad. I despised them all, really.

One last thing, though. A ballet dancer in VARIOUS POSITIONS was considered chubby because of her thighs, but by ballet standards, 'chubby legs' are probably more thin than mine are ever going to get.

*looks down at thighs guilty* I should've probably written this review on the treadmill, huh?

Even though I wasn't a fan of this book, Schabas sure knows how to reel us in and keep us interested. I'll probably read future books of hers.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


  1. From snooping around the blogosphere, I get the general impression that this book is just a massive fail. Because look, while I'm not saying that 14 year old girls don't have sex, I'm not quite sure that I want to read about it. Plus, Georgia just sounds like a really weird child who needs a stronger father-like figure in her life.