Friday, 15 January 2016

Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
From: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: 6th April 2014
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment ChallengeWinter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

Training as a ballerina is hard for Christine, especially with her parents on the verge of a divorce. Though technically a good dancer, what she lacks is the emotion when she dances, though meeting up with her secret teacher, Erik, seems to be helping her with that. Meanwhile football playing Raoul has caught her eye, and the two begin a relationship under her mother's watchful eye. But Erik soons becomes more and more mysterious and leads Christine down a path she never wanted to go down.

I'm not really sure where I should start with this review. Potentially with my views on The Phantom of the Opera. So to be clear I love the musical stage show, and I love everything about it; the costumes, music, staging (so much so if I can't sleep I listen to the soundtrack and I booked tickets before checking my friend could go with me last time it toured). The original book of The Phantom of the Opera I actually quite dislike (it's one of the few occasions where a film or alternative representation is better than the original...in my opinion of course. If you're wondering one of the others for me is Lord of the Rings). Love triangle wise, I am very firmly in the Raoul is better for Christine than Erik/The Phantom. I've never wavered on it.

The reason I've gone through all that is because Phantom's Dance is a retelling, and actually (ignoring the fact it's about Ballet and not Opera) I thought it was quite a faithful retelling, even down to some of the more traumatic events between Christine and Erik. Other than the three leads though the characters weren't named or obviously the same as in the book or the musical, though there were several similarities. I liked that the side characters were more fleshed out though, it gave Phantom's Dance a unique feel to it.

Christine was exactly what you'd expect from a teenager. She had the angst and the drama that all teenagers go through, with added Ballet and the issues with Erik, but at the base of it she was normal. Her friendship with Jenna also helped make her a relatable character.

The ballet content in Phantom's Dance was actually not as heavy as I expected. It was easily understandable and the concentration seemed to actually be on how Christine felt while she was dancing rather on the dancing itself, which made this different from other books centred around ballet.

I enjoyed Phantom's Dance, it was a good retelling and made me really want to watch Phantom again!