Review of Dance by Teodora Kostova

Dance (West End #1)Dance by Teodora Kostova

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

***The following contains minor spoilers***

This was not a book for me, but many people loved it, so please do not let my review stand alone if you are thinking about buying it.

I listened to the audio version of this story, which was narrated in a slightly whiny, dreamy voice, which never grew on me, but nevertheless suited the story perfectly. Because this was, in essence a teenage dream.

The two meet, eyes across a crowded dancefloor, instant attraction and he wants you so much, he can’t tolerate other peoples hands on you, you go home together and are lost to the world and each other – cocooned in a bubble, just you and him, enough. It’s love at first sight and you move in together within 24 hours, never again spending a night apart. You ditch your friends, to just be with him and he can’t keep his hands of you, whenever he sets eyes on you… All lovely – if you are a teenager…

But twenty years after leaving my teens I don’t buy it and all I see are red flags. Infatuation, moving too fast, creepy codependency and controlling behavior: How can you opt to go live with a stranger, whilst your house is being renovated for almost a month, just because said stranger doesn’t want you to move in with a friend? How creepy is that?  It sincerely creeped me out!

I never recovered from that. I never believed that this was love. All I saw was lust and obsession. In my mind the book would have been a lot better off editing out the first 15-20 chapters and starting out when Fenix returns to London, as a second chance romance, but, hey, that’s just me…

Fenix’ career beckons him to Broadway – his life long dream we are told – and the couple split up. This however only further fuels the teenage dream impression as Jared goes into a sulk and depressively moping around worthy of Bella Swan in Twilight.

The second part of the story was slightly better, even if – again – we do wander around in Wonderland, where one diva can apparently move an entire production from Broadway to London’s West End, no worries. Sorry, but that just didn’t fly with me. Tony award winner or not. This was Fenix first and only role… I cannot believe he was that influential!

Other than the insta-love and everything just being a tad too easy, the story’s biggest problem is that it is 100% tell and no show what so ever. I am told that they love eachother, told that the business is cut throat, told that Jared is hurt by his mother’s behaviour – That story line was completely superflous by the way, and should have been edited out – the same goes for Fenix’ parents story. What was the deal with giving me the tidbit about Evelyn’s accident being foul play and then never following up on it? etc. etc. But I am never shown any of this in actions or behaviours. Do not tell me! Show me! Telling me relegates me to the sidelines of the story.

The ending and epilogue left us firmly where we started. A teenagers dream of a perfect happy ending. Saccharine sweet, but too much for me to stomach.

Others have told me, that the second book is better and Adam was the only character in the story that I could actually relate to and kind of liked – at least he reacted like a normal person to most things! So I might still try it out at some point, even if this one wasn’t for me.

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