Book Review: Dance Of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance Of Shadows CoverBook: Dance Of Shadows by Yelena Black

Published June 2014 by Bloomsbury Children USA|369 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Dance Of Shadows #1

Genre: YA Contemporary/Thriller with a hint of Urban Fantasy

What It’s About:

Vanessa has just enrolled in the world-renowned New York Ballet Academy—the same school from which her sister, Margaret, mysteriously disappeared.

Three years later, Vanessa follows in Margaret’s footsteps to find out what happened to her. But when Vanessa lands the role most girls at NYBA would kill for, she ends up trapped in a sinister spiral of secrets that go beyond the dance world. Because someone—or something—wants to use Vanessa for more than her talent. Is she doomed to relive her sister’s strange fate?

Riveting and sexy, Dance of Shadows is a psychological thriller you won’t be able to resist.

What I Thought:

I’m not sure what to think about Dance Of Shadows.  I was definitely intrigued by a girl going to the same school her older sister Margaret disappeared from, but it wasn’t as much as a thriller as I thought it would be.

I know going to NYBA sets in motion the entire book, but I’m still surprised her parents would let her go after her sister left the school mysteriously.  Her dad seems fine with it, while her mom doesn’t, but…I’m sorry, if I were a parent (which I’m not, to be clear), I don’t think I’d let my 2nd daughter go to that school.  I know we know why Margaret disappeared, and the parents don’t, and that Margaret and Vanessa are 2 different people, and that just because Margaret left doesn’t mean Vanessa will, but I’d still be really hesitant to let my daughter go to that school.

The mystery is unexpected, and I liked it, and how Vanessa and her friends try to figure it out.  While I liked the mystery, it didn’t really have the suspense I was hoping for, nor was it as creepy as I was expecting, considering how it ended.

I didn’t like her relationship with Zep at all- it felt really forced, and while I sort of (but not really) understand why, it felt really fake. And while she needs to ignore Justin’s warnings for things to happen, it was still irritating!  You’d think she’d be more cautious after what happened with Margaret, but apparently not.  The characters didn’t really stand out to me, and even though I finished it a couple of days ago,  I couldn’t even tell you their names, or anything about them (other than their love of ballet, but that’s to be expected).

I did like how the one dance was described, and it was described so well that it makes me wonder if Black was ever a ballerina. It really made me want to see that particular dance, because it stands out so much.

My Rating: 

2 stars.  Dance Of Shadows was okay, and I do think it would work well as a stand-alone.  I liked the paranormal elements, but it wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting.

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