Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Review: dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman

Title: dancergirl
Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 248
Release date: November 15th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: NetGalley - thank you to HarlequinTeen and NetGalley for providing a free eGalley of this book!
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
Ever feel like someone's watching you? Me, too. But lately it's been happening in my room.When I'm alone.
A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I'm no longer Alicia Ruffino. I'm dancergirl. And suddenly it's like me against the world—everyone's got opinions.
My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy—even he's acting weird. And some stalker isn't content to just watch anymore.
Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you've seen me online, I've trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.

First sentence:
You know the feeling you get when you're on the subway.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I'd heard basically nothing about this book before I got it on NetGalley, so I didn't have all that high expectations. The description sounds okay, but not the kind of book I'd go out of my way for. However, I ended up really enjoying dancergirl - I loved the mystery and the characters!

I have no idea why I don't read mysteries more often - I love the suspense and guessing who did, and they're always so much fun, but I just never seem to read them. Anyways, I really liked the mystery aspect of dancergirl. It had me guessing the entire time - I changed my mind about who the stalker is loads of times, but I still didn't get it right. The creepy atmosphere is really well-done - I felt like someone was watching me, just like Ali feels, and the whole thing creeped me out, in a good way.

I loved Ali's characer. She's easy to relate to, even though we're not that similar, and I kept wanting to protect her from the creepy stalker. I really liked reading about her dancing - I'm the clumsiest person ever and my dancing is a disaster, but I still love watching others dance and, in turn, love reading about dance. It felt like the author knew what she was talking about, but it wasn't hard to understand for someone like me, who knows almost nothing about dance. I also liked that Ali is latino, without that being addressed as an important issues - I love when diversity is a part of the book without making a huge deal out of it. The only thing I didn't get is why Ali let Charlie upload those videos of her dancing at a party in the first place - how could she have possibly thought that's a good idea? I don't think it's realistic that that could have helped her dancing career, and it just put her in unnecessary danger. But other than that, Ali's character is easy to relate to and feel for.

Most of the secondary characters are good. Jacy is adorable, and I loved reading about Ali and Jacy's relationship. Sam and Charlie are interesting characters, too, and all of them are well-developed. I liked that each of them has their own problems, but they all still help Ali out. I love reading about healthy friendships in YA. The only characters I think fall flat are Ali's two best girlfriends. They don't seem to have their own persoanilities, and I had trouble telling one from the other, even though they play pretty important roles in the story.

All in all, this is a great read. I especially recommend it if you like strong mystery-storylines, since that's probably what I enjoyed most about dancergirl. I will definitely be reading the sequel/companion novel, Circle of Silence!


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