Book Review: “Codename: Dancer”

“Codename: Dancer” by Amanda Brice

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery

Source: The author [Thanks Amanda!]

Summary from Amazon:

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

At first their partnership is awkward, because Dani is in awe of her longtime teen idol crush. But soon their chemistry is heating up the dance floor and the attraction moves into real life.

Her excitement is short-lived, because someone wants her off the show. Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will Dani’s 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last.

It’s like Nancy Drew in toe shoes in this light-hearted tween mystery, a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award for Best Young Adult Romance.

review

I’m a fan of mysteries and/or thrillers. I really am. I just have a bit of a problem with adult thrillers/mysteries. They can get a bit too intense for me sometimes, haha. I guess I just get too involved with the book. That’s why YA mysteries and thrillers are more my pace.

Codename: Dancer satisfied my taste for mystery without being too over the top. The book is on the shorter side so the action picks up pretty fast. The mystery was done well. It was one of the books where you had to keep reading so you could figure out who did it. [Normally I’m pretty good at figuring it out but I wasn’t able to do it for this book!] While the book was a mystery, it was light-hearted and fun as well. Definitely perfect for a quick afternoon read.

When starting the book, I was a bit worried about the dancing. Since the author has a background in dancing, I thought the book would be heavy on the dancing and dancing terms. As someone who hasn’t even mastered the Macarena, I thought I might be in over my head. I was pleasantly surprised though. The author used the terms just enough to prove she knows what she’s talking about but not enough to turn off or confuse the non-dancers reading. I discovered at the end of the book there’s a glossary of dance terms! It’s not terribly convenient if you’re reading on an e-reader though.

My only “problem” with the book was it walked the line between a middle grade book and a young adult book a bit awkwardly. I could see younger teens/tweens enjoying this book but there was more language than a normal middle grade book has. On the other hand, the book seemed maybe a smidge more juvenile than typical YA books. As an adult, this isn’t a problem for me but for some people, like parents, it could be a problem.

I also appreciated that Dani’s eating problems were addressed. I was worried that nothing would be said about it and it would be passed off for normal. It was taken care of pretty fast though but the book is short so it’s understandable.

Rating 3.5/5

4/5 for younger readers. Definitely worth picking up especially if you’re a fan of Nancy Drew.

3/5 for older readers like me. If you’re looking for a quick, fun mystery, look no further.

Other reviews: I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read

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