Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Release Date: 02/12/2013
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...
This one is such a disappointment. I thought a YA ballet book would be awesome yet it did not live up to my expectations.. it's far from it actually.
There are only a few things I like about this book. One, of course, being ballet. I'm done ballet since I was little and Vanessa is a professional dancer so it was really interesting to read her story. Ballet is one of my hobbies so I didn't train professionally (I'm not that good at it haha). Reading about Vanessa's dancing experience was really enjoyable :)
The disappearance case built a background for Vanessa. I enjoyed it a lot. I liked trying to figure out what happened to all those ballerinas who disappeared.
Now moving on to things I didn't quite like. I hated protagonist! I never hated protagonists before so I'm quite surprised. Vanessa is just so frail. The book keeps describing how she's strong but she isn't at all! Every time she finds out something, she tells it to her boyfriend and I keep getting bad vibes from him. And ALL SHE DOES IS SWOON OVER ZEP. Do you know how annoying that is? Girls don't swoon over how hot a guy is 24/7 *eye roll*.
Talking about Zep, he's not a swoon worthy love interest at all. He was so distant from Vanessa and you can tell he lies all the time. I don't even know how Ness fell for him. She can't see past his apparent good looks *sigh*.
The book is also written in third POV which made it really hard for readers to connect to Vanessa. If it was written in first person, then it would have been much better. And the supposed plot twists, I saw them coming a mile away. This is just so disappointing :(
Overall, I would still give the sequel a try to see if it would get better. I think the sequel might have a better plot now that they got all their stuff figured out in book 1. This book isn't memorable and I already forgot most parts. I just remembered my feeling about being quite annoyed with Vanessa.