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Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker

Book cover of Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
ARC, Paperback, 170 pages
Golden Rod Press
July 13, 2009
★★★★ ½☆
goodreads button
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Received from Author for Review
Beth is a lucky girl... She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed. 
Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?
Welcome everyone to Dancing with Ana theme week! Hopefully you will find some useful information here this week and we can have a great conversation. To kick off the week we have my review of Dancing with Ana. So without further ado...

Beth’s life is perfect. She has what every high school girl wants: great friends, a great body, and a cute boy who likes her…except that it’s only on the surface. Underneath everything her life is a mess. Her parents are divorced and the loss of her father is eating at her slowly. She begins to not enjoy the things that she used to and becomes fixated on losing weight. Everyone around her is worried about her. Will she be able to regain control of her life or will it continue to spin out of control?

Beth’s story is one that is poignant for many young girls in today’s society. Divorce and weight issues are common scenarios. While this story could have easily fallen into clich├ęd territory, Nicole Barker does a phenomenal job at creating stories and characters that you care about. By the second chapter I was absorbed in Beth’s story and couldn’t wait to read what would happen next. Her characters are very real. They not only have real problems, but they react in real ways. Being a few years out of high-school myself, I could still relate to the problems Beth and her friends were facing. The way this story is written I think that anyone of any age can relate and enjoy it.

This book would be a perfect book for any teen girl to read; it’s hard being a teen today. Issues of self image, self-mutilation, peer pressure, divorce, and relationships are all approached in this story in a way that is sensitive but without feeling patronizing and preachy. It really illustrates how quickly something can spiral out of control and how hard it can be to climb back out of that hole. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though.

I received this book from the author for review. This was a quick and awesome read. I would highly recommend this read. Don’t brush it off because it is a young adult novel.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Where to Buy: Amazon | B&N
Find Nicole Barker: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I just received this one today. I can't wait to get started on it.

  2. Wow - had no idea this book was so deep from reading the title. It certainly sounds like a good and very relevant read. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Hi Heather- your review is fantastic. You;re absolutely right about this being an important issue for girls. Sounds like it would be extremely beneficial for both teens and parents to read. The book sounds not only interesting -but also very deep and important. Looking forward to an interesting week at your site:) Thanks.

  4. Nice review. Sounds like this would be a great book to read especially for teens who are facing there issues.

  5. Hmmm... it sounds like a good book. I was worried that it might not be an adult read so I appreciate your addressing that issue. I'm looking forward to reading it first then passing it on to one of my son's friends. Thanks again for the informative review.

  6. Dancing Ana sounds like an intriguing story and one that would keep my attention. It delves into extremely sensitive and serious issues that not just teen girls are faced with. Sounds like a book I would definitely like to read.

  7. I couldn't put this book down. Beth won my heart. Her friends, family and experiences were believable and I know kids live this life. Great read! Would recommend to teens and their parents.

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  8. I flew through this book! It had just the right amount of...everything...! The story pulled you right in - definitely worth reading!

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