Unlovely

Unlovely

by Celeste Conway

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440582790
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 01/02/2015
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Celeste Conway is the author of the young adult novel The Melting Season and the middle-grade novel The Goodbye Time, both published by Random House. The Melting Season was listed on the New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age. Her most recent work is the young adult novel When You Open Your Eyes, published with Simon Pulse. Celeste holds a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University and teaches English and creative writing at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

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Unlovely 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
WildfireBookBlog More than 1 year ago
After I read Tiny Pretty Things, something about books revolving around performing arts, apparently particularly ballet, started to become my thing. I really enjoyed the other book’s ability to wind in the story of the girls with the way that they were backstabbing and focused on getting just what they wanted – the lead part in the ballet, in their case – and the drama of what was going on in the halls of the school. So, when I got Unlovely and saw that it was also about a ballet school and was supposed to be an eerie horror, I was even more excited because that combines two of m favorite things. I loved the writing in this book but unfortunately I didn’t love the story so much even though I really, really wanted to. In short, it was just really hard for me to connect with the characters because I couldn’t see much chemistry between them or understand why they liked each other and the main character seemed a little flat sometimes. Outside of the characters, I felt like the story was always building and building to something and I was really just waiting for something big to happen but it never quite got where I wanted it to go and I was really disappointed. Harley, the narrator of our story, is coming back from his first year of college and found out that everyone has basically just moved on in his absence, including his ex girlfriend. His heart is soon set on a new girl named Cassandra who is spending her summer at the ballet school in the town where Harley is from. The relationship between people in the town and the ballerinas at the school is tense and it’s definitely a “Romeo and Juliet” type story for Cassandra and Harley since they come from such different lives and their friends aren’t particularly supportive of them. The main source of tension between the groups is a mysterious death of a local boy at the ballet school. While it was ruled a suicide and never bothered with again, the locals never forgot about it and there was definitely something weird going on at that school. I loved the creepy rumors about the death and something dark going on at the ballet school, but I felt like Harley and Cassandra’s relationship went really fast and I just couldn’t see a ton of chemistry with them personally. I’m sure that wouldn’t bother other readers and it was easy enough to look past because the story was interesting, but it was just a little pet peeve I had about it. The story was creepy and the writing gave off a really weird vibe which I liked and it really made me want to keep reading to see what happened next, but unfortunately I felt like the book built up a lot and then just… didn’t go anywhere with it. The ending seemed very anticlimactic to me after the whole book and it was a huge bummer since the book was pretty good before that.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
There have always been strange rumors about the strange accidents and tragic deaths which center around Ocean Watch Academy, a summer dance school. Harley’s lived on the island his whole life and heard all the stories. Now Harley has come home for the summer from Colby College to find out he doesn’t have much in common anymore with his friends, including his ex-girlfriend Mairin. Harley meets Cassandra, one of the mysterious dancers at the Ocean Watch Academy, and he falls for her fast. However, there is more than meets the eye to the Ocean Watch Academy dancers and their headmistress. Soon Harley finds himself fearing for himself and those he loves from a threat which has been terrifying the islanders for decades. UNLOVELY is a creepy tale of love and revenge. While I liked the story, I didn’t feel too attached to the characters themselves. I thought the suspense played out well and was seriously disturbing. I think teen readers will especially enjoy UNLOVELY.
Miranda_Mowbray More than 1 year ago
Such a pleasant surprise!  I've always been fascinated by the world of dance and ballet, but although I've read a few YA novels featuring this topic, I never found one that I thought was that good. Until Unlovely.  The first thing that struck me about Unlovely is that it's a book about ballet that's narrated by a teenage boy. I totally did not expect that from the cover! But it worked surprisingly well. He's not a dancer himself, but he has a huge crush on Cassandra, one of the girls who spends the summer dancing at this ballet camp-type thing in the town where he lives with his dad. At first, it's clear that Harley is a little obsessed with these pretty wispy girls who breeze into town every summer. They're beautiful and ethereal, and so nice to stare at. But once he becomes emotionally entangled with one of them and the layers of this story are peeled back, you being to realize that these gorgeous creatures are not everything that they seem. Not even close. Unlovely is a creepy, gothic story that had me on the edge of my seat. I didn't want to put it down! The enchanting descriptions of the town, the ballet, and Cassandra herself had me absolutely loving this book. It really reminded me of Wuthering Heights in a way. That same eery tone and foreboding feeling is found throughout Unlovely, and makes for a very unique and intriguing read. The one complaint I have about this book is that I didn't find the ending to be very satisfying. After all of the build up and the wondering and the angst, the story's conclusion seemed quick, a little confusing, and didn't quite fit with the rest of the book. I just expected there to be a little bit more. I didn't think that the ending was horrible, but I was a little disappointed with it. Had the author chose to go in a slightly different direction, maybe with a paranormal twist or even just a spooky open ending, I almost certainly would've rated this a full 5 stars. In my opinion, Unlovely is an absurdly underrated dark and twisty book that I would not hesitate to recommend. I think that fans of The Fever by Megan Abbott, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, or even Phantom of the Opera should definitely check this one out.