Book Review & Giveaway: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard

July 16, 2014 Blog, Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway 14

Book Review & Giveaway: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review & Giveaway: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa HowardPhantom's Dance by Lesa Howard
Published by Boot in the Door Publications on March 1st 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 342
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
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Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

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My Thoughts

I was very curious about this! The synopsis shows that it is similar to The Phantom of the Opera but obviously there are some differences. I wanted to delve in and I hoped to enjoy every word!

The cool thing about this is that Lesa Howard is able to take a theme that we have all read or seen many times and put a completely new twist on it. The basis of the theme is the same even if the reasons behind the theme is not. As the reader we don’t see these differences come alive until later in the book (that character arc part) but I felt like it really matched the world that Lesa Howard was trying to create.

The characters were pretty easy to understand. Christine has a lot going on in her life with ballet and her family and it’s amazing that this girl can keep her life together. There’s just so much but not so much that I didn’t feel that it reflected real life.

Then we meet Erik. There’s some secrets surrounding him, some of which I was able to discern but not until over halfway through the book. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to like him. There’s so much that I had to turn off when thinking about their relationship and other stories that I have read, and believe me this story is very, very different from the rest! And of course, that left me curious.

The character arc was great! I think it really brought about some character strengths, and flaws that are necessary for growth. It was amazing! The only downside was that it took a while to get there and I think maybe it was the fact that I knew the story that kept me curious how this one was going to be different but overall I really enjoyed it.

The short: Creative read! Ignore your thoughts and comparisons to older versions of The Phantom of the Opera. This one is completely different but still really good!



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The Author

LesaI’m not the typical author. I didn’t always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I’d just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I’d written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.
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14 Responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard”

  1. Shannon Greathouse

    Can you believe I have never read / watched / seen anything having to do with the Phantom of the Opera!

    • Christina

      Of course Shannon! There are so many great stories out there that there is no way for us to read or watch them all. Highly recommended though. The Phantom of the Opera in all of its retellings is amazing!

  2. Giselle (@XpressoReads)

    This sounds like a really well done retelling – I love a good balance of same old with a new twist or 2. I’d also seem Erik mentioned a lot in reviews he sounds like such an intriguing character! Great review, Christina!

    • Christina

      Thank you! And yes, he really came across. Really interesting character for sure. But they all were!

  3. Lesa Howard

    Hi, Christina. I wanted to drop by and say how much I appreciate your reading and reviewing Phantom’s Dance while it’s been on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. I said on another blog that I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear fans of the original Phantom of the Opera like my version, and I’m not kidding at all. It’s been kind of scary waiting to see how devoted fans would react. So I’m glad you liked it. I plan on blogging about the writing of a retelling, so if you’re interested stop by my blog at to read about my Phantom’s evolution.

    my best,
    Lesa Howard
    Lesa Howard recently posted…Xpresso Book TourMy Profile

    • Christina

      I know! It is almost like a catch 22 because people get curious because of the original but then may not like it because it differs but I honestly enjoyed it. Erik was really intense! Really enjoyed it!

  4. BookLady

    What an intriguing book! I enjoyed The Phantom of the Opera and am interested in reading the author’s new twist on this classic. Thanks for sharing.and thanks for the great giveaway.

    • Christina

      It was very intriguing! Honestly, it’s scary when you already know the original story but Lesa did such a great job with this that I’ve been recommending it to everyone!

  5. Daniel M

    I too have never read/seen anything about phantom of opera

    • Christina

      I’m surprised how many have not read or seen but I guess it is in a particular place that sets it all by itself. Not a lot of people watch musicals either so although the story is interesting they may not pick it up due to not having a clue. This particular book is different than the original but still fascinating!

  6. Jasmine Henderson

    I have only watched the Phantom of the Opera since my husband is a huge fan of musicals in general. This book sounds like a very intriguing twist on the original so I’ll have to check it out!