- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (November 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 037321040X
- ISBN-13: 978-0373210404
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,917,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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dancergirl Paperback – November 15, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Carol M. Tanzman is an award-winning theatre director and nationally recognized arts educator. Her first YA novel, The Shadow Place, was a YALSA's Quick Pick, an NCTE ALAN Best Book, and was listed in the CA Collection for Middle & Senior High Schools. In addition to her Harlequin Teen books dancergirl and Circle of Silence, she is a contributing poet to the Dare to Dream…Change the World anthology.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"Question of the day," Jacy says. "What's the worst thing that could happen to you?"
Jeremy Carl Strode, aka Jacy, settles beside me on the worn marble stoop of the brick building we both call home. Jacy and his parents live on the fifth floor; Mom and I have the apartment above them.
"Alicia!" His bony elbow pokes me. Jacy's wearing the vintage AC/DC tee I gave him for his sixteenth birthday and a pair of ripped jeans. Knowing him, he's probably got on zero underwear because of the August heat wave.
"I heard you," I say. "Are you talking about school next year or, like, life?"
I fan my orange tank top over my stomach. "Is this for the Gazette?"
Just before classes ended in June, Jacy was named features editor at WiHi, our neighborhood public school officially known as Washington Irving High. He's in line for editorin-chief when we're seniors if he can keep his father, "Mr. Go to MIT and Be An Engineer," out of his mop of curly hair.
"Let me think," I say.
"That'll take a while."
"Not everyone aces Calc in tenth, genius-man."
Jacy ducks his head in embarrassment and checks his cell. "Better get going if you want to show up to work on time."
In June, I'd scored a job at Moving Arts, the studio where I study dance. The sweetest part is that I can take as many classes as I want for free.
Halfway down the steps, Jacy trips and slides the rest of the way on his butt. My laugh cuts through the muggy air.
"Glad I amuse you," he mutters.
"All the time."
I give him a hand up and we head north past midsize apartment buildings, neat brownstones and the ethnic restaurants that, according to my mother, give the Heights its charm. Air-conditioned cars glide down the street, although the sidewalk is empty. The smell of garbage baking in metal cans is enough to cause the fainthearted to, well, faint.
"Got it!" I pull a rubber band from my messenger bag and twist my long, wavy hair into a ponytail. "Worst thingit's the spring concert and the auditorium is sold-out. There's a scout from Merce Cunningham's company. I'm doing, like, fifteen pas de bourree" I demonstrate the step-side, cross-back, step-side move "and then I trip. Not just a stumble but a humongous slip. The next thing you know, I'm sprawled facedown across the stage. God, how humiliating is that?"
The audience laughs. Samantha Warren gives a snarky smile as she completes her set of perfect pas de bourree. I try desperately, awkwardly, to catch up to the count, knowing my entire career-to-be is ruined
"I knew you'd say something like that." Jacy sounds triumphant. "You always think you're going to tank a performance."
"I could easily blow a dance!"
"Not ever!" Jacy insists.
Pleased, I coat my lips with French Vanilla ChapStick. We've reached the intersection of Clinton and Montague. Clothing boutiques, Trinity Church and upscale art galleries line the sidewalks. Moving Arts Dance Studio stands across the avenue, west of the subway entrance.
"What's your worst nightmare?" I ask.
No answer. Instead, Jacy steps off the curband that's when I see it. Without a doubt, he could do the math: If an SUV travels at forty miles an hour and an idiot steps directly into its path, it would take X seconds to smash said idiot's brains
My arm shoots out. Desperate fingers pull his tee. "Watch out!"
A horn blares. Tires squeal. Jacy falls into the gutter with barely an inch to spare.
"Omigod!" I breathe. "Do you have any idea how close you came to roadkill?" He grins as he stands. "Don't laugh, Strode. It's, like, the third time you've done that since school let out!"
"Sorry?" I jerk him around so he has no choice but to stare directly into my eyes.
"I didn't see the car," he mumbles. "It came down the street really fast."
"Not that fast. I saw it."
"So you're Superman with X-ray eyes and I'm not." "Don't be a jerk," I say.
"I have to be someplace, and you're late." He makes a show of looking both ways. "Is it safe to cross now, Mommy dearest?"
I stare at him, and he actually waits for me to nod before stomping off toward the subway.
Now, how does that work?
Jacy's the one who does something stupid and I get snapped at. But that isn't the only thing that pisses me off. We've been together more than fifteen minutes, and he didn't bother to mention he's meeting someone.
Who? Jacy hasn't dated anyone since his spring breakup with Tiffany Kahlo. If he were hanging out with someone new, well, you'd think I'd be the first to know.
It's not like I'd be jealous or anything. Everyone knows it's a disaster to hook up with someone you've been friends with since third grade. A person you had to inform, at age twelve, that deodorant is a rather useful invention. Somebody you know goes commando on hot days and you don't even find it gross anymore. Put simply, Jacy and I have WTMI: Way Too Much Information about each other.
Whatever. By the time I enter Moving Arts, the line of tutu-skirted preschoolers waiting to check in for Fairy Tale Dance reaches halfway across the studio's air-conditioned lobby. The din is deafening, which is why I stamp at least fourteen class cards before realizing what should have been obvious.
What's the worst thing that can happen? With the stunt he pulled out on the street, Jeremy Carl Strode clearly avoided having to come up with an answer. That's when I decide there's a new question of the day. Whator maybe whois Jacy hiding?
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Ali has spent most of her life dancing. It's her passion. She works at the local dance studio so she's able to take all the free classes she wants. She never imagines the thing she loves most would end up turning her life upside down. While at a park concert with her best friend, Jacy, Ali's filmed dancing. One of her film geek friends catches her, doing what she does best, and loads the video up on the internet. He edits it out as sort of a mini show with her as "dancergirl" and him as the quite crushing boy in the sidelines "shyboy." It immediately goes viral and Ali is thrust into the spotlight with everyone at school and elsewhere, suddenly taking an interest in her. At first Ali is flattered by all the attention. Everyone has had the desire to feel special and wanted at some time in their life. But soon the initial excitement at the popularity wears off. What's more disturbing is this video has brought Ali into the sights of a stalker, which becomes apparent when a video of her dancing in her underwear in her bedroom gets posted! As soon as Ali sees this, she is beyond freaked out and wants nothing to do with all this "dancergirl" business. Ali and Jacy try to figure out who could be behind the stalking. Ali becomes more and more paranoid, suspecting anyone and everyone around her. Add to this, Jacy has been acting strange and sullen. Ali thought he might have just been about to kiss her at the park concert which would be a very bad idea. They've been best friends forever and know way too much about each other to go down that road, right? Oh so wrong, Ali!!
I adored Jacy, he was such a lovely and protective best friend. My favorite type of love interest in books is the best-friends-that-turn-into-something-more kind. Even if Ali didn't see it right away, they were a perfect match. You realize early on, even when Ali doesn't, that Jacy has something major going on. I wanted Ali to figure it out sooner, and wanted to shake her a couple of times when the light-bulb didn't go off! Jacy was in need of support just as much as she was.
This story is something that could easily happen, and probably has in some form already. With surveillance and camera phones everywhere, we're often filmed without our knowledge. This story pointed out the many ways this can go terribly wrong. I was riveted by this tale and had to keep reading as the suspense level keep being ratcheted up, page by page. I could easily put myself in Ali's shoes; I would've been as creeped out by all this as she was! Her level of anxiety kept rising with each new invasion. I was a little annoyed that she didn't immediately confide in her mother but we don't always think with a clear head in an emotional situation. There were several suspects and just when you think you know who's responsible, you find out you're wrong.
I really enjoyed this suspenseful mystery! Everyone who knows me, knows there must be romance in my reads. While this is a little light on romance, I still found it satisfying and sweet. The last few chapters were a definite thrill ride. I'm now off to read the companion in this series: Circle of Silence.
For me, dancergirl was one of those books where I didn't really enjoy it, but I just had to keep reading because I felt like I needed to know what was going to happen.
Ali was so paranoid during this book that it was almost funny. Of course, halfway through the book, she definitely had a reason to be paranoid, but even when she was on a date with Luke, I just wanted to smack her and then laugh. It was a bit ridiculous.
There were also lots of parts I found myself extremely bored during. I just wanted to either skim or stop reading. And the worst part was that there would be a really good part, something very interesting, and my hopes would go up, but then a few pages later it was boring again.
One thing I wish we'd seen more of is the best friend relationship between Jacy and Ali. Their relationship didn't really feel like a best friend one to me. Not even a romantic one. The only best friend-type moment they had was when a little Batman incident. I loved how Jacy basically saved the day, but that doesn't mean they're best friends, it just means Jacy's a good guy.
I will admit that I never saw the identity of the stalker coming. There were plenty of suspects, there could have been even more, but I never would have guessed it was who it really was. Tanzman did a good job at keeping us guessing, and dancergirl was fairly suspenseful.
Even though I'm not a dancer and therefore didn't understand some of the dance terms in this book, my favorite parts were actually when Ali was dancing. Tanzman did an amazing job at capturing Ali's emotions during these parts.
Overall: dancergirl just didn't hold my interest. The characters fell a bit flat for me, and I feel like it all moved too slowly. While the identity of the stalker was definitely a surprise, it was honestly the only thing I liked about this book, other than the dance scenes. 2 stars.
Alicia has all sorts of problems once the video of her dancing goes viral. She knew her friend was taping her and was going to upload it but she thought the recognition might help her get into a prestigious dance school - what could it hurt? Her friends don't know how to act towards her now, strangers recognize her, people say and post hateful things. She feels like she's always being watched - all the time. Her best friend, Jacy, is acting weird which hurts Alicia most of all since she has feelings for him. I liked Jacy - he was a very sweet romantic interest.
As the book's momentum takes off, Alicia has to figure out who watched her video and is still watching her - stalking her. At this point, I felt like I was there with her and had goosebumps and felt those little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. To what lengths would the stalker go with his obsession? Would Alicia ever be able to dance again after this video fiasco?
A very realistic story relevant to today's trends with likable characters.
Reviewed by Valerie
Book Provided by Deb Shapiro & Company
Review Originally Posted @ Romancing the Book.
Most recent customer reviews
Ali is a normal teenager with a bright future in dancing. She loses control of her life when an innocent youtube video attracts a stalker.Read more
Ok in 100% honesty if I would have come across this book 4 months ago I would never have purchased it.Read more