January 12, 2010

Review: Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma (Tween Tues)

Tween Tuesday was started over at Green Bean Teen Queen as away to hightlight awesome books for the 9-12 year old set. AKA Tweens. This week I have a review.

Title: Dani Noir
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Aladdin
Released: September 2009
Book Source: Other Shelf Tours

From Goodreads
Zoom in on thirteen-year-old Dani Callanzano. The summer before eighth grade, Dani is stuck in her nothing-ever-happens town with only her favorite noir mysteries at the Little Art movie theatre to keep her company. But one day a real-life mystery begins to unravel—at the Little Art! And it all has something to do with a girl in polka-dot tights... Armed with a vivid imagination, a flair for the dramatic, and a knowledge of all things Rita Hayworth, Dani sets out to solve the mystery and learns more about herself than she ever thought she would.

My Review
I liked this book.  It was a sweet story of a young girl maturing and beginning to look beyond herself.  If you're like me tho, you will have been mislead by the summary.  The summary makes it sound like a complete mystery story.  It's not.  I'm glad that's not all it was, because I think what it really was - was much better.  Instead of it being only about Dani chasing around town looking for the mysterious girl in tights.  Had it just been about that I would've never finished the book. What it's mostly about is Dani dealing with her parent's divorce, he father's infidelity and now remarriage.  At 13, those are all tough subject to tackle.  Throw in friends who are no longer friends and a massive amount of distrust and you've got the makings for a young girl to start doing what people might describe as crazy things.  And that's what Dani does "crazy irrational things" because she doesn't know what else to do or how else to cope. The crazy things Dani does could've be seen as over-the-top and unrealistic making it hard to buy into the story, but Nova Ren Suma kept it real.  She never let Dani go too far or make her seem completely bratty and unredeemable.  As much as her actions and thoughts were irrational, they were also realistic. I could see a 13 year old acting and thinking the way Dani did. This realism kept me reading.  I also kept reading because I liked Dani, and I wanted to see how and if she would grow.

I do want to talk about the movie references in the book.  Dani is obsessed with Rita Hayworth and old movies.  She tends to see her whole life in comparison to a movie.  This is interjected throughout the book.  Dani will describe what's happening as if a camera is filming it.  A few times it felt a bit over-done, but for the most part it blended right into the story.  By the end I was use to it, so it flowed without giving me any reason to pause.  I will admit that I do want to watch a Rita Hayworth movie, so I see a femme fatale in action!

Final thought: Good book with a likable character.  I'm glad I meet Dani.

Best stick with you image: Whenever Dani described Rita Hayworth and her movies.  I could really picture them.

Best for ages: 10-13  Kids older than 13 will see Dani as too much of a little kid to relate to

This book was provided through Other Shelf Tours.  Check out the website for more information about who they are and what they do.



  1. This is the second great review of this book I have read and I am putting this book on my list. I still love to read tween books :)

  2. Oooo I like what you mentioned about her loving old movies. I do too and that has me siding with the main character already. Great review.

  3. I really want to read this book and the cover is beautiful. Great review!

  4. Sounds like it's up my alley, I will have to check it out. Great cover.

  5. I really need to read this one-it sounds so good!

  6. I forgot about this book - totally going on my to be read pile. Thanks!

  7. Do you think young readers will be able to picture Rita Hayworth, when Dani describes her?