Author: Nicole Barker,
Genre: Young Adult fiction,
Publisher: The Golden Road Press,
My Rating: 4.0/5
Official Website : http://dancingwithana.com/
I had never experimented with YA genre so far coz I felt it's just not my type and wouldn't hold my interest for long enough to finish reading the entire book. But when Nicole Barker mailed me asking if I would be interested in reviewing this one, I just jumped at it and agreed! The short synopsis and the cover page were enough to draw my attention to this one and I was surprised that I absolutely loved the book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
The book is about 16 year old Beth, who is a smart girl and lucky enough to have a pretty much 'perfect life'. She has 3 great friends Rachel, Melanie and Jenny and her childhood buddy Jeremy. At the surface it seems like she leads a perfectly normal life with surfing, running, hanging out with friends, partying, school etc. But her inside world is completely in contrast with this about which hardly anyone knows. She is quite unhappy within and is in a constant struggle to come to terms with her parents' divorce which is probably why she is striving to behave different assuming that would help her accept this change and deal with it..
I absolutely loved the way each character is carved so well in the story, especially Beth and Jeremy. The innocent love that develops between Beth and Jeremey was extremely heart warming. It was very well developed and realistic, something each one of us can identify with and wish we could have someone offer such pure, selfless, unconditional love...It really touched me and I loved reading this part. I am way past that age but I could still relate to the strong feelings and emtions which Beth went through..
The book has a very fast pace which worked well for me. I would probably have lost interest if it was too long drawn. Though short, the story was well detailed and does create a depth of emotions in the reader. The short and sweet part of it kept me hooked on and when I finished, it left me craving for a bit more! If you are a regular YA reader, you might not be too happy with the timespan and how fast the things progress.....
I was quite curious to know about the title "Dancing with Ana" becoz Ana was not one of the characters in the book. I did a lot of google search and found in one of the reviews which had an explanation to this and it really intrigued me! "Ana is the short name of Anorexia Nervosa, the very disorder that Beth falls prey to. As of the dancing, there is both a figurative side to it (the way Beth 'toyed' with her unhealthy diet taking 2 steps forward and very rarely, one step back), but there is also a literal dance - in the way she danced her heart out at the end of the book. Dancing away her pain, sadness, anger, frustration and disappointement. The way she released her demons to the sky"
Recommended to teenage girls or people who still want to relive their teen years :)