Review: Dancing with Death

16 September, 2012 / 1 Comment

book review

Dancing with Death by Andrea Heltsley

Pub Date: August 8, 2012
My Copy: eBook, 223 pages
Find this book on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Murders have plagued the woods in the past, making them a place of fear. Eighteen-year-old Wendy and her friends become worried when a new string of murders come to their high school. After a horrible car accident, Wendy returns to school, going from wallflower to popular overnight. As the murderer edges closer to Wendy, she realizes things are changing. She is afflicted with nightmares that are all too real and she herself is undergoing unnatural changes. Learning the truth about her past could be the key to saving her future.


My Review


Dancing with Death was not a very enjoyable novel to me.  I feel bad whenever I give books bad reviews, because the author must have put so much effort into trying to make it a good book.  However, keep in mind that these are merely my personal opinions and that others may enjoy the book, even though I didn’t.

The character development is okay, but I didn’t feel that there was enough.  I felt like I didn’t really know very much about Wendy’s character and she is the narrator.  The majority of the book deals with her feelings for Brandt and Matt; they are all she can think or talk about for a long time and I felt like that was getting in the way of any real information about her as a person.  I don’t think that any of the characters were developed well enough to connect with and, after completing the novel, I don’t feel that I really know the true characters, only certain aspects of each of them.
The story was also only okay.  I didn’t care for it.  I didn’t feel that it was a very creative storyline and I found a lot of things to seem very unrealistic.  One aspect that seemed unrealistic, to me, was when Wendy received a strange phone call from a voice that sounded familiar.  All of a sudden, she figured out that the call was from a dead girl named Julie Feldman.  She tells her friend, Halle, about her discovery and Halle simply hops on board with almost no hesitation and says, “Okay, that is very creepy. I recognize her voice and you are right, it was Julie Feldman.”  Wendy’s friends all just simply agree that she is being contacted by someone that is dead and there is no other explanation — it’s just a fact — and they move on.  What?!  This would never happen in real life!  A first reaction would most likely be Hell no, that can’t be Julie, she’s dead! and try to find a different explanation until there is no other explanation…and even then, wouldn’t there still be some hesitation??
Another unrealistic aspect was when Wendy was trying to choose between the two men in her life.  This is what she said: The worst part of it was that I don’t know if I could even choose if I wanted to. They both brought so much to the table and I was more confused than ever.  At this point in the novel, Wendy barely even knows Matt.  They only had one date and all they did was make out and talked about cheating on Brandt and keeping their relationship a secret.  As a reader, I did not witness any real relationship building between Wendy and Matt at this point.  So, I don’t get why she is struggling so much.
The writing…oh my…I don’t want to be a book-basher and my review, so far, seems like I am being one.  I hope that if the author reads this review, she will take it as constructive criticism and try to become a better writer.  I do not intend to offend anyone or to be known as a book-basher.  But, the writing in this novel is very weak.  There are inconsistencies in tense, many errors in sentence structure, typos, the conversations seem forced, and there are not enough contractions used during the conversations.  There were so many obvious mistakes that I found myself shaking my head a lot throughout reading this book.  The writing was the major contributing factor to me not enjoying Dancing with Death, as it was constantly jarring me out of the story.
I’m sorry and I feel that I may have been a bit harsh in this review, but I actually held back quite a bit.  I sincerely hope that the author can take constructive criticism and move forward.  I will say that I love the cover.  Also, I was able to finish the novel, so there was some level of interest on my part.
2 stars


A Peak Inside the Book:
Run Wendy. Run as fast as you can.
Death is coming and he is coming for you.

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Posted 16 September, 2012 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 1 CommentTags: , , ,

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One Response to “Review: Dancing with Death”

  1. Wendy

    Oh my! Your review has definitely made me want to steer clear of this book! If I can’t connect with the characters in a book, that is enough to spoil my enjoyment, never mind the other issues you mentioned. Yikes!

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