Carol M. Tanzman
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: November 15, 2011
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Ever feel like someone’s watching you? Me, too. But lately it’s been happening in my room.
When I’m alone.
A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I’m no longer Alicia Ruffino. I’m dancergirl. And suddenly it’s like me against the world—everyone’s got opinions.
My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy—even he’s acting weird. And some stalker isn’t content to just watch anymore.
Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you’ve seen me online, I’ve trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.
I loved this book so much. On a personal level, I identified so much with the characters in this book. Alicia Ruffino, the main character, is a girl of mixed-heritage living in Brooklyn, NY. She spends her days as a regular high school student and her afternoons as a modern dance student. She lives with her single mother who works as a nurse and therefore works nights, so Ali (Alicia) spends a lot of time alone at home. This hit close to home. I lived between Dominican Republic/New York/Miami most of my life and I could totally relate to Ali’s situation, that with my father being a doctor and spending so much time away from home. The author’s description of life in New York as a teenager, the parks, the firescapes, the roofs. That, coupled with the fact that Ali’s mother still used a beeper, made me feel like I was back in NY in the 1990’s.
Things turn sour when Ali agrees to let a friend record her dancing, hidden camera style, giving viewers the illusion that Ali was unaware she was being recorded and that the person recording her was a secret admirer. To Ali’s surprise, the videos go viral and she becomes a video sensation. Suddenly many in her school treat her like a celebrity, while some treat her like she’s someone craving for attention. She has the same kind of reactions at the studio where she studies dance, where her popularity is used in order to sell more tickets to a show, to Ali’s dismay.
Ali deals with it, and keeps on, until a new video hits the Internet of her dancing. The difference is that this time the video was shot with an actual hidden camera, one that she was unaware of. The story then focuses on finding out who the perpetrator is and suddenly everyone is a suspect. Some have something to hide while some have something to reveal.
I give this book 4 stars. It was extremely entertaining and will have you going all Nancy Drew trying to figure out who the guilty party is. I highly recommend this book. It is only 250 pages roughly so you will find yourself finishing it in no time and hoping for more. I for one, want to read more of this story (perhaps a Jacy spinoff?) and will definitely be looking out for more Carol M. Tanzman books to read.