Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review: Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Boot in the Door Publications (April 6, 2014)
Source: Purchased
Genre: Modern Day Retelling
My Rating: Undetermined


Book Description:
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.






I debated on whether or not to even post this review because honestly, how many times have I ever posted a review for a book that I just can't rate? Umm, probably never, at least not on my blog. But the fact is, this book was good and yet, it had it's bad moments as well. 

Let me explain.

I love a good solid retelling of any classic as much as the next girl, which was why I was excited to start this as soon as I saw the great cover and even better blurb. And while I did like this, I have to be honest and say, I didn't love it as much as I really thought that I would.

It was a great story and the life, schedule and hard discipline that is a ballerina's world, has always fascinated me. And while I loved that whole aspect of the story, there were minor nuances that kept me from truly loving it.

A slow beginning and rushed ending were just one of them. 

The idea of a young girl sneaking off to meet a creepy stranger in the middle of the night, especially after being warned by someone she trusted that he was unhinged, was just something that never sat right with me. Maybe because I would want to believe that there aren't really girls out there like that. Girls that aren't that desperate or that stupid to risk their life like she constantly did, even when the warning signs of Erik's mental stability were staring at her right in the face. 

Throw in an event that happened towards the end of the story that was sort of glossed over by almost everyone in Christine's life, including herself, and by the end of the story, I found myself disgusted with everyone involved,

It is hard going into detail without spoiling anything but this book covered some serious matters and I didn't care for the way they were handled and ignored at all. What kind of message does that give young girl's that may be put in a similar situation?  


I really really wanted to love this, or even like it but by the end it was hard to swallow and I think because of it, it is affecting my judgment about the whole book.

I think for now, I am leaving this one unrated, at least until I can gather myself enough to look at it differently as a whole instead of just looking at the parts I didn't like or agree with. 


44 comments:

  1. "The idea of a young girl sneaking off to meet a creepy stranger in the middle of the night, especially after being warned by someone she trusted that he was unhinged,..."

    Seems like a good time to me! Unhinged and creepy ... yeah, I've definitely dated a few of those. ;)

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  2. somehow this book actually sound interesting, sorry you couldn't like it :) hope your next read will be a great read :D

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  3. The blurb does sound pretty intriguing, I didn't know what retelling this was but that blurb made it clear. After reading your review, I'm kind of curious yet a bit hesitant to read this. I can see that you liked it, but the issues you had is definitely valid so I understand the no rating for now. Lovely review Kindlemom!

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    1. It was a good book despite my issues with it. ;)

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  4. I love the cover for this book and it sounds interesting, but I think I would be bothered by it too. Especially this :
    "The idea of a young girl sneaking off to meet a creepy stranger in the middle of the night, especially after being warned by someone she trusted that he was unhinged, was just something that never sat right with me. " I'd be worried out of my mind for the girl and would probably dislike her for making such dumb decisions.
    I'm glad there were parts you enjoyed, Ali. Lovely review.

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  5. Think I'm going to take a pass on this one! I just finished one recently that left me wondering how I was going to rate it as well. So many things just didn't work, and it's always such a shame when that happens. Sorry this was a miss for you Ali!

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    1. It happens. I really wish those things hadn't been so important to me but they were.

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  6. I think this book just isn't for you :)

    This is an example why I tiptoe around re-tells because it's hit or miss. Sometimes the author's vision doesn't translate well.

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  7. Oooh, it is always hard when a book leaves you like that. I am not sure this is for me, as for girls meeting boys they have been warned about..happens all the time and I for one will never understand it.

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    1. Me neither, not when there is a real danger!

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  8. I hate those books that I have no clue how I feel about it! I'm sorry this one was disappointing. It's always sad to have high expectations crushed. There may be stupid girls like that, but I don't want them to be the heroine. It's always nice when heroines have brains. Yeah as much as that blurb made me want to read this I think I'll pass. I'm afraid of that ending now. Thanks!

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    1. Yeah I really don't love them as the heroine either. *sigh* I still don't know how to rate this.

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  9. Ouch Sounds like this one was a big mess. My last ballet book was a big miss so I havent' been eager to try another one. Hope your next read is better.

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    1. For some reason I think they are harder reads, I remember one last year that was very similar as well, it might be the same book you are talking about Heidi.

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  10. It's hard to explain books that are kind of in the middle for you. And I hate to imagine girls would put themselves in danger like that too, but it does happen. Regardless, it doesn't sound like the best re-telling.

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    1. It wasn't bad just not as good as I was hoping.

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  11. Oh Ali, my heart goes out to you. I have in fact read books that I can't rate but I bow to your mastery because I don't post them either. And you did a bang up job of this. I would also want to scoop it up, who wouldn't be drawn in by a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. Ugh now I can't the music from playing in my head LOL

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    1. Thanks so much Debbie! I had that song in my head when I started reading this. :)

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  12. Phantom of the Opera retellings can be so tricky for me because I was never really a fan of the phantom and when the the phantom is romanticized I feel really awkward... and considering how many bad choices this girl makes for a guy she barely knowns and has been told is unhinged.. that scares me .-.

    I am sorry this didn't work out for you, Ali :(

    Lovely review though!!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  13. *hugs* God, I know how that feels. I know.
    On the upside, reading these stories that somehow don't sit well with us makes us think about issues, so I always appreciate that. I would however love to get more entertainment as well as pondering topics when doing my leisure reading, lol.
    But I guess we can't always have it all, sigh. Great job conveying your message, though! In the end, that's what really matters to your readers, I think, not just the rating but your thoughts :D

    Now let's hope our next reads will be a lot more fun xD

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Livia!!

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  14. Hmmm, I have this one from NetGalley. After this review, I'm both intrigued and not feeling like starting it. XD Allegiant was THE book I had no idea how to rate. I liked it, yet it was underwhelming. Nice review, Ali!!

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    1. Thanks so much Lola. I do hope you give it a try. I can't wait to see what you think about it if you do.

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  15. I haven't read a book in this environment but it's true that it's intriguing. As for the rest, I'm sorry it was like that for you. It's difficult when you want to love a book and in the end it's not the case. I think I'll pass for this one.

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    1. It really is hard, especially to write and rate. ;)

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  16. I honestly have never heard of Phantom of the Opera retellings. I for one, LOVE the musical, but I've always thought Christine was an idiot. I don't know if this is the book for me, so thanks for the warnings!

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    1. She is an idiot in this one too but if you love it then you just might like her in this.

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  17. I was just about to say what Natalie said. I think this one will stay on the maybe maybe not for a while. I love reading your reviews because they are always so honest. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that :)

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  18. If you are going to have a slow beginning, it needs a great ending, so I don't know about this one with the bad ending.

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    1. That is true. I can handle slow if the ending is spectacular. :)

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  19. Great review! It must be hard to review a book when you have no idea what you would even rate it, but you did a great job. This one intrigues me, but it's probably not one I'll ever get to.

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  20. Awww, it's okay to not like a book, love! There are just some books that can never work for us, even if there were some good stuff in it (that were greatly overshadowed by the negative ones). I'll probably not try this out as the blurb doesn't interest me anyway, and the fact that I may want to bang the heroine's head on a wall due to extreme frustration lol

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  21. I'm glad you posted your thoughts even if you aren't comfortable rating the book. It does sound like some pretty serious issues were glossed over. I'm interested in checking it out to see what I think. Very thoughtful, lovely review!

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  22. Thanks for your honest review - very well done.

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