Dancergirl is a Young Adult novel about stalking on the internet. Rating: 3 Books (stars)
The book had an interesting premise to it. Good girl ballerina parties with her friends, one of which tapes her dancing and puts it on the internet. Totally harmless, and totally innocent. Until some creep puts his own camera in her bedroom window and tapes her dancing around in her underwear. Cue the girl and her friend trying to crack the case of who is doing this, and why. Cue the paranoia, the distrust of all strangers (and even some acquaintances). Enough paranoia to affect this poor girl’s dancing career.
The book was in no way bad, but it also wasn’t great. It was very much a book about a stalker, and it thoroughly creeped me out. I mean, this is something that could, in theory, happen to anyone. The whole time I was reading the book my subconscious was screaming, “REMEMBER OPRAH? SHE SAID PEOPLE HIDE CAMERAS IN MIRRORS!”. For years after that episode from 2003 I refused to get dressed or do anything remotely embarrassing in front of mirrors. That fear turned into, “Wait, what if there are cameras in the vents?!”. I was like those old men constantly looking over their shoulders for communists. I grew out of the fear, of course (for the most part, anyway) until recently when my teacher told me that there was a software you could buy to tap into strangers webcams while they’re on the computer. The worst part, your webcam light wouldn’t even come on. How creepy, right?! Needless to say, this book brought back all of those crazy fears, and so I really connected with the main character, but only with that. Her obsessive need to be a great dancer was understandable, and luckily it didn’t take over the story. In fact, it might have even added to it.
Beware, spoilers ahead. DUN DUN DUN.
The book was in no way predictable, which I love. There were several times that I thought the person taping her was her dancing instructor’s weird boyfriend, of the first friend that taped her dancing, and with every doubt that the main character had, I felt it too. When she started looking for help in a former police officer that lived her neighborhood her whole life, I didn’t suspect him for a second. He seemed quite helpful, and sincere, and well…. he was a former cop. So when it turned out that it was him, in fact, stalking the girl, I was shocked. The whole confrontation at the end was well done as well.
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Overall the the book was good. It was a very quick read, which worked out well, because if there was any more to the story it would have become a bit too much. Speaking of, I just found out recently that this is actually the first book of a series (or, if not a series, there is definitely a sequel). I’m not sure what the author was thinking in started a sequel, as Dancergirl had a solid ending. The sequel is called Circle of Silence, and it has nothing to do with the first story. For more information on Dancergirl, the sequel, or the Carol Tanzman – check out her website.