First Lines: In the harsh glare of the lights, Chloe’s shadow stretched across the stage. Her toes pointed and taut, her arms fluttering like wings, she arched her neck and watched as her own silhouette seemed to move without her…
I bought this book a long time ago for super cheap and I have been meaning to get around to it for a long time. (Why is it so much harder to read books I own?) I consider myself a dancer, though I never took ballet or anything like that. But that means I’m always drawn to stories about dance and with the touch of paranormal in this one, I thought it would be something I enjoyed.
Vanessa has just been enrolled in the world-renowned New York Ballet Academy. It would be the dream of a lifetime–if it wasn’t that this was the same school her sister, Margaret, disappeared from three years ago. Vanessa is here in part to find out what happened to Margaret. But when Vanessa lands a lead role in a NYBA production most girls would kill for, she’s suddenly thrown into a world of secrets that stretches beyond NYBA. Someone–or something–wants to use Vanessa for more than her talent. Will she be able to fight back…or could she end up sharing the same strange fate as her sister?
Some things about this book turned out to be pretty good. The characters, while sometimes not being fully fleshed out or just following stereotypes, were still usually entertaining. It’s just that there are so many named characters that, beyond Vanessa and a couple of her closest friends, you really don’t get to know anyone else well at all. Teachers, enemies, villains, everyone is really just a stereotype. You have mean girls, mysterious persons who know more than they should, people who are only in the story to drop a bombshell and you never hear from them again, etc.
The mystery was intriguing most of the time. I thought it started off well and I had questions about it all the time as new little clues came to light. But the final “payoff”…boy, was that not what I wanted. Sure I saw it going that way, but it was kind of weird. And I thought the ending had some tone problems because, for as serious as it was, there were a ton of jokes being cracked the whole time.
I do like the subject matter. As a dancer myself (though not a ballet dancer), I related to a lot that Vanessa talks about and experiences. So I did like that a whole story revolved around dance so much. But this is just a weird story.