Saturday, May 05, 2012

Book Review: Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma

Book: Dani Noir
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Published: 2009
Source: Purchased

Dani wishes that life were like the old movies she watches in the town art house. The good guys would be good, the bad guys would be bad, and she, Dani, would be Rita Hayworth, sexy, confident, and untouchable. In the movies, your dad never dumps your mom for a new girlfriend. Or if he does, you're not expected to make nice with them. No self-respecting femme fatale would make nice with the other woman.

That's why she's not about to take it lying down when she realizes that her adored babysitter's boyfriend may be cheating on her. By hook or by crook, Dani's going to find out if Jackson's a good guy or a bad guy.

But life's not like the movies. The good guys are sometimes the bad guys, and the bad guys are sometimes the good guys, and Dani herself is most definitely not untouchable.

I tried to read Imaginary Girls, Suma's YA novel, but I didn't finish it. Not only did I not finish it, I hurled it aside with great force, a la Dorothy Parker. And frankly, after that experience, I was stunned that this book charmed me so completely.

I'm not sure why I had such a bad reaction, but I know why I liked Dani Noir, and that's all down to Dani. She's a thoroughly real kid, just coming to the realization that the people she loves best aren't perfect. Smart, resourceful, and honest (sometimes to a fault). She makes mistakes, she doesn't know how to fix them. She's not always clear on who her real friends are, or what other people are thinking or feeling. But by god, she's gonna figure it out.

I truly hope that Suma writes more books like Dani Noir.

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