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Blog Tour: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Horror/Paranormal

Release Date: 2/12/2013

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About the Book: Three years ago Vanessa's sister disappeared from the New York Ballet Academy. Her sister was one of the most talented dancers there and had been cast in a lead role as a freshman. The rumor was she cracked under pressure, but Vanessa doesn't believe it. Vanessa enrolls in the school in hopes of finding out what happened to her sister. As she begins to follow in her sisters footsteps, she realizes that something strange and that dance is dangerous.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Dance of Shadows is a book about ballet with a horror novel twist. Dancing becomes dangerous and there's even more pressure to being the best. In some ways, this novel reminded me of a teen version of Black Swan with paranormal elements and I think readers who are looking for just a touch of the macabre will enjoy this book.

The details about ballet are excellent. It's obvious the author knows and cares about her subject. The story is also interesting enough with enough mystery about the missing girls and the strange dance the dancers are performing that I was engaged throughout.

I did wonder why no one ever seemed to care about the missing girls at the school and always chalked it up to dropping out due to the pressure of the school. There were a lot of girls that just disappeared from this place and no one seemed suspicious about it. Vanessa is a somewhat bland character, but I wasn't so bothered by that that she distracted me in my reading. She may have been especially dumb about the love triangle she ends up in, but at least she does something to try and solve the mystery of the missing girls, so I have to give her that. And yes, there's a love triangle, but it was more Vanessa liked one guy and another guy was a jerk and maybe liked her, so it wasn't incredibly irksome.

Overall the book was a good read and I did enjoy it. It's a bit long, but I liked the ballet aspect and the mystery kept me engaged. I also really liked the paranormal take on ballet. There's a main mystery that is solved in this book with the door open for a sequel. Give this one to teens who like a lighter take on horror.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from egalley sent by publisher 


  1. I had a lot of trouble believing that so many would just swallow that the girls were dropping out due to pressure. I guess that could have been part of the magic but if so, that didn't come across very well.

    1. Ooh-good point about it being part of the magic. That could have been it, but it felt odd that no one even wondered about the girls or where they had gone.


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About Me

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee