Title: The Midnight Dance
Author: Nikki Katz
Genre & Age Group: Historical fiction, paranormal, young adult
When the music ends, the dance begins.
Penny is a dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and 11 other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate and in the only life Penny has ever known.
When new memories appear, showing a life very different from the one she thought she’d been leading, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With the sweet kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.
Source: Thanks so much to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with a physical ARC of this book!
How I Found Out About It: Indigo newsletter
When I was requesting ARCs from Indigo’s weekly newsletter, The Midnight Dance caught my eye right away. It just seemed like the type of book I’d devour, being about dance and mysteries. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations, thus leaving me quite disappointed.
For a short summary, this book revolves around Penny, a ballerina whose goal is to become one of the most successful dancers in her home country of Italy. She has been stuck inside her prestigious dance school for basically her entire life, being closely watched over by the Master. But suddenly, Penny starts remembering things that she shouldn’t. Things that could change her entire life. So, with the help of love interest Cricket, she makes plans to escape her school and discover the truth, hoping to slide right by the Master.
Penny was a wise and strong character whose actions I enjoyed in the moment while reading, but once I shut the book, my memories of her went flooding away. I found that she didn’t really stand out in the sea of YA protagonists– rather, she fit in. The Master and Cricket are the only other two characters I can recall upon my writing of this review, but still, all I can remember about them are flirting and kisses with Penny.
The premise of this story was definitely interesting, but I’m not sure if it really followed through. To me, the plot was just thrown all over the place with random characters and events coming in and out of the story, and in short, I couldn’t keep track of anything! I was also quite bored by a large portion of this book and wanted to dose off to sleep. And what the heck was that ending?!
I must say, though, that the writing style of this book was amazing! It was very lyrical and unique, and if there’s anything to remember about this book in a year, it is the writing for sure.
All in all, The Midnight Dance was a mediocre read, and I was not blown away by it in any way. I think it was a little more paranormal and thriller-y than what I was expecting, and it took me a while to get used to that kind of atmosphere. I’d recommend this book to those wanting an interesting paranormal story with a unique premise and beautiful writing style- but don’t expect to be wowed any more than that.
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*