11 August, 2014

#BookReview :: Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

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.

Christine Dadey and her family moved to Houston so that she could have her chance at the Rousseau Academy of Dance. Two years down the line, her she is struggling with her dance and her father had moved to Norway claiming work requirement. But neither her family life is going on well as she suspects her parents are planning to get divorced, nor is her dance career on the track. Only bright spot in her life is her friend from the academy and Raoul. Then she meets Erik, a boy with a shadowy past and a disfigured face, who helps her with her dance moves. But soon her life is caught in between Erik’s obsession and plan for revenge.

I love Phantom of the Opera, both the book and the movie. I also love any form of dance. So when this retelling of the story landed on my radar, I knew I had to give it a try. The author, for most part, has kept the essence of the story intact and I sure liked that fact. The plot is predictable if you have read or watched the Phantom of the Opera, yet it makes you want to know more about how Lesa Howard has handles everything, creating a gripping effect on the reader. Christine is committed to her dance and the only bane in her career is her performance anxiety. She comes off as a little naïve at times, but that is part of her charm. Raoul on the other hand is handsome and loveable. He is also very gallant, maybe a bit too much for modern times. Erik on the other hand could do with little more work. They narration of the story is easy to get into and follow. The author has kept her language simple. I could probably do with a little more description of the main settings – like the dance academy and the theatre. 

My only problem was that the author never really explained how Christine overcomes her performance anxiety as the ending seemed a bit rushed. A person doesn’t simply wake up one morning and overcome their problems. I would have rated this book a four star if the author had shown Christine working to overcome her particular problem. Overall, this book made a fun read.



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