Codename: Dancer

Rated 3.75/5 based on 4 reviews
Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak’s 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last. More

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About Amanda Brice

As a little girl, Amanda Brice dreamed of being either a ballerina or the author of a mystery series featuring a cool crime-solving chick named Nancy Flew, but her father urged her to “do something practical,” so she went to law school and spent her days writing briefs and pleadings instead of fiction.

But dance and writing have remained a part of her life. Amanda was a member of the ballroom dance team at Duke University, and continues this interest by her obsession with Dancing with the Stars, so it was only natural to set a teen mystery series at a dance school.

Amanda is the Vice President of Washington Romance Writers, and is a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award. She blogs every other Wednesday with the Fictionistas and every other Friday with Killer Fiction. She is also a popular conference presenter, speaking on basic intellectual property law for writers.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys dancing, reading, cooking, traveling, and obsessing over whether Duke will beat Carolina in basketball. Go Devils!

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Reviews

Review by: Alysa H on Feb. 25, 2013 :
I won a copy of this book in Elle Casey's January Anniversary Indie Book Giveaway.

This was a fun little book, but I'm having some trouble reviewing it because although I read a lot of YA books, this one was a bit too "Y" for me. If I had a teenage daughter into current teen pop-culture, I think she'd enjoy it (though as a parent I would probably wish that it had just a tad more substance).

I liked the relationships between the narrator, Dani, and her small circle of friends. I could have done without such the "mean girls" undercurrent from elsewhere, as that's been done to death. I guess I can handwave this as making sense in a dance program at an Arts boarding school, but I do hope that is just fictional stereotyping. The "teen reality tv show" plot line was also quite amusing as a source of mystery, as there isn't usually any mystery to such things!

I wish it had been just a touch longer. I was surprised when the (Kindle) book ended at 79% read (the remaining 21% had a glossary of dance terms, a preview of Book 2, and excerpts from two other unrelated books by different authors). The ending was good, but abrupt. Perhaps Dani's friends (Maya, et al.) could have been developed more with the extra space? I would have liked to see them more as people than as sidekicks. This book was good but not great. Altogether, I'm happy that I read it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Melanie Robertson-King on Jan. 01, 2012 :
I enjoyed reading Codename: Dancer. I found it a fun read and although I'm not up on the technical terms for some dance steps, when mentioned, they didn't interrupt the flow of the story.

There's mystery, romance, the heroine's dream of becoming a ballet dancer. Everything rolled into one neat package.

Amanda skillfully weaved the plot in such a way that the villain wasn't revealed until she was ready to do it. She also dealt with the subject of eating disorders in a sympathetic manner.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Linda Andrews on Nov. 21, 2011 :
Dani Spevak travels from New Jersey to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend the prestigious Mountain Shadows Performing Arts High School. This is the first time Dani's been on her own. She's enjoying the freedom and opportunities--especially the one to be on a new reality teenage dance show. While being selected from the many dancers is flattering, it soon proves unhealthy. First a stage accident, then a studio fire. Soon it becomes apparent that someone's out to stop the show and the list of suspects keeps growing. Now Dani and her friends must figure how to ensure that the show goes on.

Dani's angst, her confidence and her obsession with her perceived shortcomings all make for a character that practically walks off the page. With a light hand, Ms. Brice touches on the topic of anorexia prevalent in such an appearance driven industry as the performing arts. Dani's friends are supportive as they bumble their way through the investigation.

For a light and enjoyable read with a touch of mystery look no further than Codename: Dancer.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Emily Tuley on Oct. 23, 2011 :
For a young adult mystery novel it was cute. I found the characters were really cut out and defined but even at moments they had their own flaws. It was something I thought would be good for young girls to read the romance scenes were not over steamy or to graphic leaving it to be rather a good young adult novel. Definately something I will suggest for my daughter once she gets a little older to read it. I found myself laughing in some parts and angry in others at the right moments you should be feeling the emotion and drive of the characters. However the end was a little predictable and that was my only down fall for the book. But once again as I stated it's a great book for a young adult.

Dani or Daniela must find out who is sabotaging the TV show that has come to film on her school campus after only a few of the girls win in the audition the turmoil around her and her like of two boys seems to ruffle her better judgement on both of them. Leaving one blamed even in his innocence and the other innocent only to be proven guilty. Jealousy from a rival dancer also fuels the fires of mystery as more and more becomes crashing to a dangerous ending and almost finale for them all.

Away from home, surrounded by people she is unsure to trust, Dani eventually finds out who her friends are and who her enemies are in the end you realize that good friends are always hard to find but great once you have them.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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