Published by Swoon Reads on October 17th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Suspense
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When the music stops, the dance begins.
Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven 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 never known.
But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive 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.
The Midnight Dance was one of my anticipated reads for the year, and I have always had a soft spot for ballet, so of course I had to get my hands on it. So, I was so excited to get a chance to read it so soon. I will warn that there isn’t as much ballet as I would have hoped but in its place was a thrilling ride of twist and turns and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
The story centers around Penny who has been attending the Grande Teatro, where she is one of twelve ballerinas. This is the only place that Penny has ever know, but her memories start changing, and they don’t make sense. She sets out to find out what is going on.
Penny is the main character, who I just adored, had a strong will and determination, something that the other girls did’t possess. Penny’s journey to the truth was rocky, and certainly not pleasant at times, but she never stopped and for that I liked her even more. Now Cricket, the boy who lives there and helps her was a sweetheart. And yes, there is a budding romance between them, it did take a backseat to the story itself. Which was alright with me, but it was kinda sweet and I enjoyed their little moments together. There were a couple of other characters that I wished we have more interaction with, and some I could have done without. Snoody little ballerinas, but anyway, it was a interesting group of characters.
The world building was strong and everything was described so that we get this picture of this beautiful estate that is hidden away from town, but there were some seriously twisted things going on in this ballet school. But what exactly, is what kept me turning the pages. It almost seemed like the girl were obsessed with The Master, what he thought about each of them and each of them wanted his attention. They’d get all nervously giddy when he came to the studio. I get that he was gorgeous and mysterious to them, but it was all very strange. As the mystery begins to unravel, everything seemed to come together taking on a dark yet intriguing tale.
The concept behind this was compelling, and even though it ended up being a little different than I expected, it was a fantastic read. It had suspenseful moments, a dark mystery, a sweet romance and hint of ballet. What more could I ask for? Fans of ya thrillers will enjoy this one for sure.