The Hit List by Nikki Urang
The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to be a new beginning for Sadie Bryant. Moving across the country is exactly what she needs to escape the gossip surrounding her injury, the devastating betrayal of her ex-partner, and to rebuild her career as a solo dancer.
When the school announces that the annual Fall Showcase, a performance that secures a spot studying in London, will now require each dancer to have a partner, Sadie’s fresh start is a nightmare. Now she has to dance with Luke Morrison, the school womanizer with a big ego. Sadie doesn’t know how to trust Luke enough to dance with him after her last partner left her broken, but Luke is determined to change that.
Then, The Hit List comes out. A game of sexual conquest where guys get points for all the girls they hook up with—and it seems like every guy at the school is playing.
The girl worth the most points? Sadie.
Publishes in US: November 11th 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: ya/na hybrid contemp
Source: netgalley from spencer hill
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I wanted to read The Hit List because I am drawn to books about dancers. I have never done it, but I guess that is a lot of little kids' dreams. Then I read about the list, which is giving guys anonymitiy to sleep with or otherwise score with girls. I haven't read anything quite like it and I knew it could lead to some hard core emotions and heart break.
The main character, Sadie, has just transferred to LA after an injury with her ballet partner and ex-boyfriend. She has a lot pain inside and trust issues now. While the scene of dancing and that special bond you get from working with the same person for years, dancing with bodies aligned and the chemistry, I could definitely relate with her pain and fear of trusting again. She wants a new start, but the magazine article that was written about her and Patrick is the first thing to shadow her. Then the teachers drop the bomb shell that instead of individuals performing for the prestigious Fall Show, everyone will be auditioning and if accepted, dancing with a partner.
The Hit List made me and Sadie question all of the guys. I knew that only 12 were playing according to their numbers, but it casts suspicion on any guy that talks to her or asks her out. She has no intentions of putting her heart out there. But she is paired with known player and flirt, Luke. He is so frustrating-- he can be patient, sweet and attentive one minute, and then the next ignoring her or finding yet another new girl to flirt with, But as Sadie has panic attacks as Luke gets to close while dancing, we get to see the side of Luke that not many others do. He works to gain her trust, and Sadie's attraction to hot bad boy only grows and it confuses her.
So, besides the romance, I also like the friendship. Her roommate Brielle and token gay friend Adam both hang out with her, hoping to draw her out and let her have an outlet as well as convincing her to have some fun.
But I do appreciate the realism that although she goes out occasionally she puts so much focus, intensity and time into practicing and keeping up her talent. Now, I know that for story purposes there has to be other conflicts going on to help the plot, but some aren't very realistic in how much time you actually have to put into classes and practices to get and maintain talent to be at a ballet school.
Honestly, it did get a little too angsty at times, and I know that its the emotion coming out, and her fear, but she does say she's giving up too easy. I like that the teachers just mostly try to avoid and ignore the drama, telling her to take a water break and get right back to it instead of getting mad or taking a moment of weakness to seriously.
I liked the ending, and I never would have guessed who was behind the lists. As far as that it did feel a little rushed and that forgiveness or justifying it without repercussions was a little hard to be okay with. But I liked where Sadie ended up, how she grew as well as getting to know the other side of Luke.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever seen a list like this before?