Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release: November 15, 2011
Wow. Mysteries are fantastic. I absolutely love the breathtaking suspense and brilliant plot twists that a good one provides, and Dancergirl was no exception.Ever feel like someone's watching you? Me, too. But lately it's been happening in my room.When I'm alone.A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I'm no longer Alicia Ruffino. I'm dancergirl. And suddenly it's like me against the world.— everyone's got opinions.My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy,— even he's acting weird. And some stalker isn't content to just watch anymore.Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you've seen me online, I've trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.
Ali's stalker, or the idea of him or her, was captivating. Because the reader doesn't know who he or she is, the person is like a phantom, constantly morphing with each new lead. It was fascinating to watch this person develop, getting bolder and bolder with his or her actions as the plot progressed. I changed my mind about who he or she was multiple times, until finally settling on one person to suspect. When my suspicions were proved correct, it was a startling moment as the ghost he or she had been finally became a real person.
What I will remember more than anything, though, is the all-around creepy atmosphere in which the story takes place. You read the book as if looking through a veil of suspicion and fear that encompasses everything in Ali's life. The big-city setting is perfect for the plot, providing a place where a stalker can see but not be seen. Something about the busy streets could have provided comfort, could have made Ali feel safer with all the people surrounding her, but instead the strangers are all looked at as suspects, potential dangers that need to be avoided.
The mystery isn't the only thing going on in the novel, though. When Ali begins so suspect her own friends, she discovers so many things about them that could reinforce their relationship or pull them apart. Each little subplot helped bring Ali's world to life, forming a more complex story than just the stalker could have provided.
The one downside for me was how quickly the dancergirl video gained popularity. I would have liked to see it go viral a bit more gradually so that I could have seen Ali's sense of privacy and safety deteriorating gradually as well. More than anything, the video's lightning-fast rise to the top just felt scripted and fake; it is hard to get people to pay attention to things you post online and that many views in that amount of time doesn't happen.
This hardly took away from my enjoyment of the story, though. Dancergirl is a great book with a strong mystery storyline and a bit of drama and relationships on the side. If you want something that will keep you guessing and keep you thrilled, Dancergirl is for you!