dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman

A friend posted a video of me dancing online and now I'm now 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 stranger 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 more than just my love of dancing. 

I could lose my life.

More books about dancers? Yes! I will read any YA book that has to do with dance, just to see how its done. It seems though that overall I'm finding myself disappointed, and these dance novels are falling flat of my expectations.

I was super excited to read dancergirl for the premise alone. Not only is it about a dancer, but it also shows the dark side of infamy. When Ali agrees to put videos of herself dancing on the internet, she realizes the downsides pretty quickly. I feel like so much more could've been done with this story. Parts of it were exciting, but other times I was bored and found myself skimming.

Mostly though, I felt that the characters and relationships fell flat. Ali was a good MC, and I connected with her because I'm a dancer. But most of her friends and the other side characters were too flat and two-dimensional. Some people seemed like they were there just to be there. I wanted more depth. Especially when it came to Ali and Jacy's relationship. Supposedly they were best friends, but I never really got that feeling while reading. I liked Jacy enough, and I liked the way he was there for her for the most part and saved her at the end. But I wanted more from their relationship. Inside jokes. Special moments.

There could've been more depth on the writing side of things as well. Sometimes the dialogue felt unrealistic, the prose shallow.

But I do need to give this book credit where it's deserved--it did hold my interest enough for me to want to know what happens and keep reading. While I did find a couple things quite predictable... I was definitely surprised by the identity of the stalker. I had no clue who it was. There were so many suspects, and the actual culprit was.

My favorite part of this story was the actual dance parts. I really felt Ali's love for dance more than anything else in this story, and I could relate to it. The scenes where she's dancing is described beautifully, and the moments shown of rivalry and competition within the studio was depicted perfectly. But really, I felt like I was dancing alongside Ali. So bravo on the dance front. That aspect of the novel was fantastic.

Overall, dancergirl didn't quite do it for me. I wanted it to pack more of an emotional punch. The dance element is what really made it three stars for me. If this book was about anything else though besides a dancer, I don't think I would've liked it as much. But I will check in on the next book in the series, because there's potential with the writing. I hope I see some growth in future novels.


Alyianna said...

Hey just a question Marissa. I read The Expiration Date and loved it...but your other two stories don't work. I go to the links and it says that the stories cannot be found! :(

Marisa said...

Hey Alyianna! Thanks for letting me know. Here's the link for Perfection is my Enemy:

Dancing Through Life is on private right now. I'm in the process of a big rewrite--and I'm putting up my new draft in the near future :)

Paige said...

Thanks for reviewing this! A few other bloggers I follow gave this a not so great review too.
I feel like I should read it because it's about dance but then.. I don't want to waste my money.
Gah! You're reading Hushed now!
You're so lucky you get all these ARCs. I requested for two on NetGally but they never got back to me :(