Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (November 15, 2011)
The videos went viral...
EVER FEEL LIKE SOMEONE’S WATCHING YOU?
BUT LATELY IT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN MY ROOM.
WHEN I’M ALONE.
A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I’m no longer Alicia Ruffino. I’m dancergirl. And suddenly it’s like me against the world—everyone’s got opinions.
My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy—even he’s acting weird. And some stalker isn’t content to just watch anymore.
Ali. dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you’ve seen me online, I’ve trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.
The premise of dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman is what most attracted me to read the novel. There really aren't many things more intense than a stalker situation. On top of that, this book focuses on dance and I love a good book about performing arts. (Granted, I love a good book about basically anything.)
dancergirl had exactly what I expected and more. Not only was there a creepy stalker situation and a lot of dance, but there were also fully realized relationships. Every relationship from the boy best friend to the single mother seemed authentic. I also liked that the other characters had their own goals, problems, and frustrations that occurred simultaneously with--and sometimes impacting--Ali. That always gives a story a fuller feel and makes it more realistic for me.
Throughout the story, Ali is trying to figure out the identity of the mysterious stalker. Fingers are pointed at friends, strangers, and everyone in between. I enjoyed trying to figure it out for myself, often wondering if it was a character we'd met or one who would be new to us when revealed. No spoilers here, so you'll have to figure it out for yourself.
Another thing I liked about dancergirl is that it is a complete story. With so many series out today, it's nice to read a standalone. That is...until I realized it's actually the start of a series.***
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with it being a series. I'm just a bit confused about how it's going to work. For me, the main plot of dancergirl is the stalker situation. After having it wrapped up, I don't see what a book two could be about that would still keep it having the same feel as the first. Sure, I imagine Ali's story as a dancer continues, but without the stalker aspect, it would feel like a different book to me. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
dancergirl is a highly enjoyable contemporary book. I'd recommend it even if contemporary isn't usually your thing.
Final thoughts: Borrow or buy.
***UPDATE: The confusion about the series has been clarified. Future books will share the same setting of WiHi, but will not use the same main characters.