Title: Phantom’s Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
This novel is a loose young adult adaptation from Phantom of the Opera. Christine, a teenage ballet dancer, falls in love with football quarterback Raoul when the football team pairs up with Christine’s ballet academy for classes. Meanwhile, Christine meets Erik, a troubled and disfigured ex-dancer who tutors Christine to help her become the best dancer she can be, despite his sinister intentions.
I will be honest and immediately admit that I’ve never read the original Phantom of the Opera, although I have good friends who are great fans of the book. I can’t write this review and compare the two books, or explain whether or not it was a good adaptation. I will purely review this story without dipping into the little knowledge I have of the original book.
I spent half the book rolling my eyes at Christine. She’s very naive, and at some points, I even found her to be too innocent to be realistic. But when we meet Erik, and Christine’s little innocent world tumbles upside down, I realized that this is the book’s main theme: loss of innocence. The action picks up around the 50% mark; before that, the book is borderline dull. I highly recommend sticking to it because the last few chapters of the book are really good
To be honest, the epilogue is possibly the best epilogue I’ve read this year.
The relationships are very strong in this book (aside maybe from Raoul and Christine’s, but then again, it is your typical love at first sight type of romance). Christine builds a strong friendship with a fellow student named Jenna, and she also has a good relationship with her mother. In fact, both parents are present, which is very refreshing when compared to a lot of YA books these days. Some characters could have been built a bit more (the street dancers, for instance), but otherwise, everyone was interesting and added to the story.
I would recommend this book to young adults, especially those who enjoy ballet — you will get to see how hard a ballet student works and gain a whole new appreciation for them –. I’d like to thank Boot in the Door Publications, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.