Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Dance of Shadows #1
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads Stars: 1
I’m just going to be blunt; Dance of Shadows was awful. The pretty cover is what drew me in, making me look forward to a mysterious paranormal book involving ballet. Instead, Dance of Shadows was more of a Twilight-esque romance with some random supernatural stuff scattered around.
The book actually started off pretty well. I was interested in the dance school and what was happening to the girls who kept going missing, and I wanted to find out what happened to the main character’s older sister. My intrigue didn’t last for long though. At about 20%, nothing of note had happened, there was a stupid romantic plot, and a creepy teacher. Oh, and the main character comes across as thick as a plank of wood.
If you were lucky enough to be around for my Twitter rage, then you’ll know that the romance is THE. WORST. I haven’t experienced anything that bad in a long time. The romance between Vanessa and Zep (that. name.) was a rushed, contrived piece of instalove. It completely dominated the first three quarters of the book. As soon as Vanessa joined the school, she was making eyes at Zep. I can’t remember them having more than one conversation before Vanessa was head over heels in love with him.
Worse still, after Zep and Vanessa meet, we skip a few weeks ahead in the timeline. I think this was the biggest problem, since it skipped all of the build up I so desperately craved. Once we were in October, Vanessa and Zep were ~in love. Sigh. I mean, I still wouldn’t have liked it due to being rushed, but it would have been better to have seen some interaction. Maybe some life-saving events here and there?
There was also a creepy scene between Vanessa and her dance teacher. He was touching her when she was dancing and… I don’t know, it just felt very off. Maybe it was supposed to be like that, but I would have liked some warning. I was kind of waiting for a love triangle involving him, to be honest.
Vanessa was so. boring. Did she even have a personality? I don’t think so. I liked her in the beginning, but after reading more about her I wanted to push her off of the Empire State Building. she wasn’t badass, she whined a lot, she fell in love too easily, she didn’t catch on fast enough, she was kind of ignorant, she was obsessed with Zep… the list goes on. If she had been a badass then maybe I would have given this book an extra star. Alas.
I’m not going to talk about Zep too much, because I freakin’ hated the guy. He ignored Vanessa, mistreated her, was fairly mentally abusive, let her be abused by the horrible pervy teacher, and yet she still adored him. WHY.
There were also quotes like this that turned me off him:
“Zep took her by the waist and pulled her into a wet, violent kiss.”
The side characters were also dull. I can’t even remember any of their names or what they were all about, because they bored me to tears. I think there was a gay best friend? Of course.
I want to warn people against reading the tags and lists for this book on Goodreads, because I made that mistake and was completely spoiled in regards to the paranormal elements. If anyone actually wants to read it after my review. I know it was more of a rant, but I hated everything about this book. The paranormal aspect wasn’t even relevant, it seemed. Oh well, I won’t be reading the rest of the books in the series, and I won’t be recommending this to anyone because of the bloody romance.