Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Dance of Shadows #1
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Bloomsbury
Goodreads Stars: 1
Rating: Troll

Vanessa doesn’t believe that her sister is a runaway. She wouldn’t leave her family behind without saying a word. The only way Vanessa can discover the truth behind her mysterious disappearance is to follow in Margaret’s footsteps, but to do so she risks her sanity and maybe even her life . . .

Vanessa Adler is one of the talented few to get a place at the acclaimed New York Ballet Academy. Between backbreaking rehearsals for the school’s production of The Firebird she desperately tries to find out what happened to her sister before she vanished. There are rumors that the pressure of performing the lead role, the same role Vanessa is now rehearsing for, drove her mad. Other girls have gone missing too. Can the role be cursed? Vanessa’s new relationship with leading-man Zep only seems to complicate things further. What is he hiding from her and can she really trust him?

Black Swan meets Gossip Girl in this thrilling first book in a new series. Sexy, sinister and full of secrets, readers will be hooked on Dance of Shadows from the first page. Look out for the sequel in 2014. – Goodreads

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.

18 comments on “Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

  1. Nara Lee @ Looking for the Panacea February 15, 2013 12:37 pm

    Oh my God! I totally thought the same about the romance! It was so ridiculously unrealistic! And those stupid cliches of “you’re like no one else I’ve ever seen”/”I felt like I knew him from another life”. Also, Justin was so bland…

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:31 am

      “I’ve had my eye on you for a while.” is one that made me roll my eyes. Good lord.

  2. Judith February 15, 2013 12:43 pm

    WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT QUOTE? Amber, don’t you like wet, violent kisses?! Guys abusing you and drooling all over your face? I can’t get enough of it. So dreamy <3


    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:32 am

      You mean wet and violent is how most people like their kisses? Oh. I must have been doing it wrong then! Maybe you’ll like Zep after all ;D

  3. Samantha Stewart February 15, 2013 1:13 pm

    Omg, that quote is horrible! Who wants a kiss like that?! I really wanted to read this book (because of the cover), but now I probably wont even pick it up. It doesn’t even sound interesting, it sounds awful!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:33 am

      Haha, I think the cover is what has drawn most people to it. They’re in for a shock!

  4. Ashley February 15, 2013 5:30 pm

    UGH. Well this is a huge bummer. I kind of expected it though because I read so many negative reviews for it. I really wanted this book to rock though! (Mostly because of the cover…).

    And LOL at that quote. Wet and violent?? Give me passionate, give me intense.. but wet? Violent? I’m out.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:34 am

      I am honestly surprised that there are any positive reviews at all! Ah well, different opinions and all that. The cover is STUNNING.

      Judith says that wet kisses are the best. Dribble dribble.

  5. Little Miss Becky February 15, 2013 6:25 pm

    Eeeeew. Wet and violent are not two words I would want to describe a kiss. Yuck. Also, the name Zep. I don’t know if I could take the character seriousy with a name like that LOL. I think I’ve seen enough bad reviews of this one now to make the decision to skip it.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:34 am

      Haha, I had a hard time taking him seriously after the stupid things he came out with, let alone his name! XD

  6. Christine D. February 15, 2013 6:50 pm

    Oh no. What a letdown. The cover sure fooled you. The romance sounds annoying, and I am picky about reading about love and kisses. Thanks for the honesty.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:35 am

      Haha, it really did. And the promise of it being a great paranormal. I get what you mean, I am SO picky when it comes to romance in books.

  7. readingtothestarsandback February 15, 2013 10:03 pm

    I didn’t enjoy this book either! I thought the first half was great, but then it went downhill. Can’t even remember the ending. That good, huh? Loved your review, even if it wasn’t in favour of the book 😛

    Star xx

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:36 am

      Hahaha, I have no idea how it managed to go downhill so quickly. Well, I do. *grumbles about the stupid characters and the stupid romance some more*

  8. ohdamnbooks February 16, 2013 12:35 am

    Ugh, this is so disappointing!
    I was so looking forward to reading this book – just look at the gorgeous cover and the dancing theme was just so unique! D:
    On the other hand, I’m so glad I didn’t buy the book. Thanks for the review Amber! 😀

    • Amber (Books of Amber) February 18, 2013 11:36 am

      Haha, you’re welcome. I was hoping it would be good so I could get a gorgeous finished copy, but ugh. UGH!

  9. Katje van Loon February 16, 2013 7:38 pm

    “Zep took her by the waist and pulled her into a wet, violent kiss.”

    I think I just threw up a little.

    *shudders* Worst. kiss. description. ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>