When the music stops, the dance begins.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

Sourced from Goodreads



My rating:


Hi, there! Another day, another review; this one is on The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz. Now with this book, I’ve got to say, I really wanted to like it. The book sounded intriguing with the ballet premise, the mystery of what has happened to the girls to their current predicament, the Master’s past and so forth. However, it didn’t come together the way I expected, and was thoroughly disappointed because of this.

First of all, I didn’t really like how the author kept on hinting at the mystery of it all by adding phrases like “Or so she thought.” at the end of a passage, making it less of a hint and more of a shout-out (for lack of a better word). If there was more show than tell, it might have been better. Also, it was weird that while the book was centred around dance, it barely talks about it. These girls could have been easily horseback riding and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I love reading books about performance art, so you could only imagine how disappointed I was when it wasn’t really relevant to the plot.

Another thing I thought had potential was the backstory given about the Master. I’ve always liked backstories to see what motivates people to act the way they do. And while I liked the backstory given, I didn’t really understand his motives to control a whole bunch of people. Maybe when it was about revenge, sure. But after that, nope, I couldn’t understand the purpose of holding a school, especially when the other pupils didn’t even matter in the story. They were basically the backdrop for Penny’s big debut. I know that we don’t get as much info on secondary characters since first person is a limited POV, but in this case, I don’t think her fellow classmates were relevant in the slightest. There was just no camaraderie, massive tension, or even some round characters, that made me care about them at all. Again, she could have been the Master’s sole pupil and it wouldn’t have changed the story. Overall, I felt as if some parts of the story weren’t really necessary.

Now, before this gets into a true rant, I’ll quit while I’m ahead and say that The Midnight Dance was not for me, despite wanting to like it. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about the book, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day, everyone!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.