Feb 27, 2013

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black Review

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
(Dance of Shadows, #1)
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's; 447 pages
Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .

Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . .

Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed . . .

Let's discuss how amazing this cover is and just...even if you're not a fan of ballet you're memorized by it. It's amazing. I wish the girls hair was a bit more red but I understand that probably would've looked weird with the bright red outfit. But the cover is definitely grabbing your attention, that much is true.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. It wasn't bad but I wasn't like oh my gosh. The entire middle bit of the book was just blah for me. The beginning and the end bits were amazing. I just felt it lagged, a lot...I'm sure some scenes could've been cut to make it not so slow in the middle.

However, I absolutely loved Justin; from the moment we meet him especially until the end. He is truly my favorite character from this book and I cannot wait to read more about him in the second. Vanessa was pretty great. She came to the school with a mission not to be the best dancer but to find her sister, who disappeared three years earlier at the same school. She quickly becomes infatuated with the senior star dancer, Zeppelin and soon she finds that his feeling are apparently returned. It's a weird relationship mainly because Zep is just...strange. She trusts him, which is weird because he's so distant and absolutely unappealing in the trust department but she does. The school's main choreographer, Josef, takes special interest in Vanessa and things just become crazy.

Her friends are hilarious. Blaine got annoying at one point but he's completely entertaining as hell. Steffie is a great best friend type material whereas TJ is also a great friend. Them, as a whole is fantastic...especially when Elly was part of their group. But she magically disappeared and no one knows what really happened to her; the school is saying she dropped out yet no one's heard from her. Interesting...

I found a lot of this story to be pretty predictable, minus maybe one or two things but even so, it still kept my attention. The ending makes me want to read more. I also found that even though I'm not a ballet fan, it doesn't matter. Sure there's a lot of technical terms that I didn't really know (but I could've googled if I really wanted to) but it didn't take away from the story. This book has got a weird, twisted love triangle which I loved every bit of it; a mystery worth solving but really, it's not solved at the end which makes you want the next book to find out that amongst other things; it's got plenty of laughs and enough romance to suffice just about anyone.


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