I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard
on March 1st 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Source: the author
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Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.
Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.
Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.
You had me at “retelling”! I am a huge sucker for all reimaginings, whether they are fairytales or classic stories, like this one. The Phantom of the Opera has always been a huge favorite of mine ever since I saw the musical. If you haven’t experienced it already, in one form or another, you really need to. It’s not necessary for you to be familiar with the original in order to enjoy this book, but it certainly does lend a certain amount of foreshadowing and suspense if you know what ‘s coming.
No, this book isn’t exactly like the original, which is so important when it comes to a retelling. I already know the story, so why would I want to read the exact same thing again?! It takes the basic premise and morphs it into a YA story about a dancer. Unfortunately, there aren’t any break out song and dance numbers, because how amazing would that be? 😉
There are two sides to this story: the first is where Christine is happy, dancing beautifully and dating a great guy. On the flip side, Christine struggles with severe anxiety, her home life is wavering and she meets Erik, an ex-dancer struggling with his own barriers. When he offers to help her with her dancing, she accepts, although skeptically.
I really enjoyed both stories on their own, but when it came to mixing the two together, I found there wasn’t enough overlap. Erik wasn’t introduced until the story was well underway, and his chapters were brief. It wasn’t until closer to the end that his full involvement was uncovered. Considering what a large part of the story he is, I was surprised that there weren’t more scenes between him and Christine.
I don’t remember the Phantom having a cell phone… Technology is an instant way to modernize an old story. While the Phantom may have had to skulk around behind the scenes, technology has given Erik a way of reaching the outside world without ever leaving the comfort of his drafty theater. It was a clear line between the old and the new. Another clear modernization is hip hop. Halfway through reading the book I had to wander off and watch Center Stage to get my dance fix.
Overall, it’s a great read for teens, but maybe not recommended for the hard-core Phantom fans. It’s impossible to live up to such an epic original, but as a YA suspense, it’s dark and creepy.
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Dahlia from the phantom
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