Friday, September 21, 2012

Dancing With Death Blog Tour: review and giveaway

Happy Friday! Today we are one of the hosts for the Dancing With Death Blog Tour hosted by AToMR Book Blog Tours. For the complete list go here. Dancing With Death is a paranormal YA book written by Andrea Heltsley, an author we have featured at Reader Girls before. Her stories are always entertaining and keep us reading late into the night. Thanks for spending time with us today.
Dancing With Death by Andrea Heltsley
YA paranormal*paperback, 1st, 410 pages*Publisher: Createspace (August 10, 2012)

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. 

About the author: 
Andrea Heltsley
I am a biology nerd who decided it was more fun writing than dissecting. I have written three novels and four more will be out in 2013. I live on coffee and read like a robot. My husband and two italian greyhounds usually have to tear me away from the computer...imagine that. :) 

I have enjoyed the other two novels by Andrea Heltsley, Dissolve and Dreamwalker. As easily as I jumped into Dancing With Death, I had a hard time liking, connecting to and feeling for its main character, Wendy. At the start of her senior year, there are murders in the woods near her house. She even has a car accident there and is saved by the new guy, Brad. Besides dating him, she also secretively hooks up with the new school librarian, Matt, four years her senior. I have no problems with girls dating numerous guys but when they begin making out within minutes of meeting someone for the first time, I have an Ooo-kay moment. 

What I wanted to see from Wendy was more character development besides knowing what she is wearing and how she is styling her hair for the day (all fine with me, I like details), but I didn't feel I understood her as much as I needed to. Wendy's close friends, Hallie and Jackson, brought some reasoning to the story and grounded what was going on for me. I liked them even when Hallie occasionally acted as vapid as Wendy. At times the dialogue sounded fake (lack of contractions which we use in normal speech) and the male love interests came across as two dimensional (Brad became repetitive during the dinner date scene and Matt seemed stiff at their picnic lunch). 

Wendy's parents were conveniently absent for huge chunks of the tale (as is the norm in the majority of YA). As the body count increases and gets closer to Wendy, she learns some startling things about herself and has to connect her sudden string of strange dreams to other things going on around her. Writing about the supernatural is what continues to draw me to this author's books. I like and enjoy her creative ideas, the twists and turns of the plot, and the relationships made throughout the books. Out of all the female characters in Hurtsley's books, Wendy was the most passionate and these feelings were clearly conveyed. Though the paranormal aspects didn't get revealed until closer to the ending, I have complete faith in the writer that the next book will improve upon the foundation she established here. 

Rating: 3

Cover comment: Andrea's books are always lovely to look at.

Book source: I received an ecopy of the book from the author in return for my honest review during a book tour.

There are two giveaways for this tour. One is open to the US and the prizes are two (2) signed print copies of DANCING WITH DEATH; the other giveaway is open internationally and the prizes are five (5) ecopies of DANCING WITH DEATH. Enter below.
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  1. You are super awesome! Thanks for hosting me:)

  2. Although I have not checked out your other work, I can honestly say that you have talent.Yüz Germe

  3. the book looks really interesting. b/c i am international i would LOVE to win an eBook version of this!

  4. Hey there, I'm visiting because I saw that you're joining in with the Reaping Me Softly book tour, which I'm also participating in =) I've followed, and I look forward to reading your posts! =D