The Best Reader + review

Dancing with Ana — Nicole Barker

Author Nicole Barker was kind enough to send me a copy of "Dancing with Ana" to review. I finished it in two sittings. Be prepared for a glowing review.

"Beth is a lucky girl... she comes from a loving family, she has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.

Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?"

I absolutely loved "Dancing with Ana." I'm so excited to say that this is the first book I've read all summer that I will be putting in the box labeled "Miss Remmers' Classroom". I am so thankful to Nicole Barker for emailing me and sending me this book. It will be a great asset to my future classroom.

It's a quick read, like I said — I finished it in a couple hours. And when I had to go to church, I found myself thinking about Beth and her friends during the extremely long winded homily (gasp!). Female students will not be able to put this book down after they read the first page. The cover won't bring them in (not a big fan), but if I challenge them to read the first two pages I know that they will need to finish it. It's a short book (170 pages) with big font. So even very reluctant readers won't feel intimidated. But don't let the size bother you — there's a lot of story between the covers of this book.

It has the right amount of romance — but the romance is the supporting issue. Teenage girls dieting is the big issue (obviously). Girls who weigh 120 pounds who decide to lose 10 pounds and try to hide it from their questioning mothers. It's been a while since high school, but I remember that game. "Dancing with Ana" is written so honestly that it's inspiring.

The language is beautiful and moving. When Beth describes her hunger for food — I was literally craving HoHos (no joke)! When Beth feels sick and guilty, I felt sick and guilty. It was astonishing. There's a lot of story in these pages and I'm glad that the book is this size — it's emotionally draining to read about eating disorders. The girls' thoughts are so honest (askew — but honest). Their relationships with their mothers, fathers, boys, and girlfriends are believable and easy to relate too.

If I could change anything — I would change the cover. It doesn't draw people in like it should for such a great book. Overall, it's an amazingly inspiring, honest, good book. But like I said, it's emotionally draining to read. But for the sake of my students (gasp) I'll suffer through it. That's complete sarcasm — I hope you got that. I'm going to email the author to see if I can set up an interview. And I'm hoping she'll send me another copy with a short letter inside for my female students so I can giveaway the original 'once read' copy of "Dancing with Ana". Stay tuned — because you'll definitely want to get your hands on this book.

If you're wondering about the title (I really was) stay tuned, hopefully Nicole will answer that question for us.

Find out what other readers are saying about "Dancing with Ana".
Tara — Tales of a Book Addict
Missy — Missy's Book Nook
The Eclectic Reader

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Dancing with Ana — Nicole Barker + review