Book Review : The Fated Dance by LeeAnn Whitaker

29482424Title : The Fated Dance : Bound to the Shadow Dancer

Author : LeeAnn Whitaker

Publisher : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Release date : March 11th, 2016

Rating : 2/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads) :

My name is Jenifer Conner and I dance for men. They come. They stare. And they pay. It’s not by choice. My dreams of becoming professional dancer had to end when my dad died. I was left with huge debts, and made the sole guardian for my uncontrollable teenage sister, Flick.

Life has been hard, and my trust in the male species is now virtually none existent. Apart from him, Grayson Crane. He’s different: thoughtful, polite, and he has a position to fill. I don’t do one-on-one dances at the club, and that’s the reason my salary sucks. But he has made me a bizarre offer. And even though my rational side is telling me to say no, it might be the only way to salvage something of a normal life for Flick and I.

The Fated Dance is a tear-jerking tale, in which a dance brings two damaged souls together. Told from both characters perspective, it explores life and death on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Review :

I would first like to thank the author for entrusting me with this book, to read and to review!

Okay, so… It pains me to say this, but I didn’t like this novel. Let’s see why, shall we?

It didn’t start off well. The writing is childish-like; it states the obvious without stimulating the reader. The narrator is first person for both point of views (Jen’s and Grayson’s), and yet, they have the same tone. When I started reading it, it slipped my mind that there would be two point of views, so for two chapters, I thought it was Jen all along.

It’s kind of forceful how the author wants to portray Jen as a good girl forced to work in this environment. It would’ve been better if Whitaker let us see it for ourselves. But (and maybe I’m a bit too sensitive or paranoid), it seemed like Jen low-key belittled her coworkers to rise herself above them all, like she’s so special and the other girls, more sensual and libertine, ought to be working there. As a result, Jen comes off as a constantly angry young woman. I get that she doesn’t like her situation, but she has no reason to be rude and to keep disobeying her boss, and yet, just because she’s been “hardened” by her life, she keeps being a little brat. Her role as a big sister could be relatable for some, what with the little sister’s (who is my favourite character of the whole book, by the way) rebellious phase, and the fact that she has to take care of the house alone.

Grayson’s first apparition wasn’t all that exciting, but he’s got money and good looks, so cheers! Cheers? Um, let me go through that again. Crane treats a man he’s known for years like crap, and gives his affection to a girl too much and too soon.

Yes, she’s still perfection in my eyes.

*shudders* The tone in that sentence was so condescending, like a practiced sentence half-believed in.  And yup, he has issues! More specifically, daddy issues! You’d think he’d be a “deep” kind of guy, but no, he’s not. He’s actually a creep, at times, before they started (SPOILERS) dating (ok, we all knew that would happen). And does he have anger issues or is he just a drama queen? Couldn’t get what he wanted on the first try, so he… busts his knuckles. On his car’s window. Sometimes, he seems no different than all the other men at the club. His intense sexual thoughts made me uneasy; I felt like I had entered an erotica novel. Although I’ve never read nor watched Fifty Shades of Grey, from what I could gather, he reminded me of Christian Grey. And that’s not a compliment. There was no built-up romance, just lust. But we’re lead to believe they love each other, and that’s the way the story goes.

The author’s timing is a bit off. Jen’s thoughts come in awkward moments, in moments when I’m just waiting for events to unfold. Sometimes Whitaker slips in an awkward poetic mode that doesn’t belong in this kind of story.

The moment my skin touched hers, it overwhelmed me with desires of the deepest kind. It’s crawled beneath my flesh and my every pore is infected by her.

She also has the bad habit of skipping through feelings; it’s all going too fast. Sometimes I understand why the characters would feel a certain way, but the author doesn’t do justice to those feelings because of the way she phrases them. They only sound like angsty teenagers. Whitaker clearly knows her way around pole dancing, but this kind of novel doesn’t really require details about that art, and so it feels forced and dragged when Jen starts dancing and every move’s name is written down.

It gets better as the story continues. The author does a pretty good job at highlighting the danger of a dancer, from the men to the money, and it could sensitize people to the reality of a club’s dancer. I can’t say I have experience in this area, but from what I heard, it’s pretty much realistic.

The last third of the book was better than the rest. It did get me teary-eyed, like the summary suggested. Overall, the book suffers from many flaws, but at least it ended better than I expected.



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