Publication: January 2, 2015, by Merit Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller
Format: Hardcover Finished Copy
Accidents happen. But they happen more often when the beautiful ballet dancers return each summer to the island. When he hears the ruthless way that the loveliest dancer talks about boys getting what they deserve when they break girls' hearts, Harley, home for the summer after his first year of college, wonders if he's losing his mind. He knows for sure that he's losing his heart to this girl...But then, strange incidents start happening all over the island and Harley is caught between desire and fear: could he also be in danger of losing his life?
A dance book gone wrong? Yes, that's exactly what happened in this case to me. I'm unable to believe how this book turned out, because I had such high hopes for another paranormal contemporary romance, just like Dance of Shadows by Yelene Black. Usually, I'm totally in for these kinds of novels, but it may have been the wrong book at the right time, or if I'm right, many things went wrong and it was a weak novel that was hard to get into.
Looking at the pacing, I found that many people have had trouble to try to get into it. I can tell you that there were moments when I was thinking of DNFing it, but I kept going because I wanted to see the ending. If you look at the rating that I've given it—2.5 stars, I can tell you that it wasn't bad, and it wasn't good, either. It's like Yin Yang, some good and some bad make up a whole, right? And I can surely tell you, this book was unlovely too. Hey, the title suits it!
This had a very simple plot, if you ask me. This is taken place in the point-of-view of a guy named Harley, who lives in a small town where he always watches the gorgeous ballerina girls who live across the hill. He meets Cassandra, and they fall in love at first sight, basically. Talk about instalove? Of course, as they fall in love, strange and eerie paranormal events start occur all over the island that he's on and he wonders if it has to do with Cassandra and the other ballerinas and if he should truly give them a chance.
Yeah, this was a short novel of 256 pages, but I felt that it was lugging forever and ever and all of the events were plotted on to my back and I had to carry them all around with me until I was actually done the novel and I can pack all of the characters and the boringness of the plot away into the closed book and its pages. It did take me some time to read, but in the end, it didn't really make too much of a difference since I wasn't enjoying it for the most part. I'm sure that if Conway had a better idea, maybe we would've gotten a whole star higher, a 3.5. If the plot and storyline was believable and didn't seem sudden and fake, then we could've had a different discussion going on here.
I hate writing negative reviews. They drain so much happiness out of me because I have to sit here, on my desk chair for 40 minutes, thinking all about the negativity that I encountered while reading a not-so-well-written novel, and putting it down into a document and send it all the way into the hearts of others, telling them not to read this. Thankfully in this case, there were some positives and I'm able to live not-so-angrily.
As you can probably tell, I was hoping for this to be amazing. I pictured the story to have a perfect message and a bunch of themes that I and many other teenagers will be able to relate to and nod our heads to when we realize that it's just like our lives but only on paper. But no sir-eee, this was a complete different situation and the only good part was that they were dancers. But the descriptions of the girls dancing weren't even that feely and made me visualize the swift movements and jumps of the ballerinas and picturing them being possessed by the configurations of society all around them.
If the dialogue and the plot were better, this book would've been better. But let me tell you that you should only read this book if you have patience. If you're able to go 100 pages without anything happening, then maybe, just maybe, you'll enjoy this haunting read. But I have a lack of patience when I'm reading and I just want to get to the action, which lets me lose all of the good stuff and I'm just sitting there, eagerly waiting. But actually, that action moment didn't really impress me? So I can tell you that the plot here was hideous. And I won't even explain the moments of dialogue, because you'll have to see that for yourself.*laughs*
One of the positives were the characters. Harley wasn't a bad guy, though I have to admit that it did make me giggle to see how clueless he was at times. But what can you expect to act like when you've never heard the rumours before and all of the stuff just jumps up to you when you start dating a girl who's part of those rumours? He wasn't a bad protagonist, and I surely enjoy looking into his thoughts better than having to read through Cassandra's, since she was pretty self-spoken. Harley was mysterious and I liked to know what he was having to go through in his own thoughts since he was pretty normal and average himself.
And the romance he and Cassandra had? I liked it. I mean, it was interesting and real. Okay, she did seem a little bitchy at times, but I'm not going to focus on her character since everyone seems to think differently about her and I guess it's just all about what kind of person you are and who's your favourite protagonist ever. If someone put the romance that Cassandra and Harley had and put it into a movie, I probably would've gone and see that movie because they were cute. You can't say anything about the romance because that was the main point of the story and if you didn't like that, then the book was a disaster for you. Thankfully, that stood by me and I was okay with it.
In conclusion, I'm going to have to tell you that I'm part of the negative crew here. Yeah, there was good and bad, but do you honestly think that I'm going to want to read some sequel or re-read this in the future? Absolutely not, since it'd be a waste. The romance was pleasant as was the protagonist, but the plot, message and "paranormal aspects" were truly something to laugh at. Looking at everything, this truly was unlovely.
*A finished copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*