As Harley begins dating one of a group of ballerinas, he starts to become suspicious of the potentially threatening behavior of the rest.
Back from his first year of college, he’s on the rebound from the sad ending of his lifelong friendship and recent romantic relationship with Mairin, who has now gotten pregnant by and is about to marry an unsavory and rough-cut local. Harley’s initially thrilled—and stunned—to be dating the graceful and lovely Cassandra; there has been a vast gulf between town residents and the sophisticated ballerinas at Ocean Watch, the local, prestigious ballet academy. The tragic and perhaps not accidental death of a young man at the school several years ago has created an even wider divide. After Cassandra is given the starring role in Giselle, Harley senses both a change in her behavior and an uncomfortable parallel between those disturbing ballerinas and the equally creepy, classic ballet. With Mairin’s life spiraling downward, Harley discovers that the unpredictable Cassandra is an inadequate and maybe even dangerous substitute. The narrative moves believably from predictable romance to somewhat chilling horror; it takes too long for fans of that genre but does add spice to the tale.
Recommended for those who want more than just a romance—or for readers who have an innate dislike for slender, graceful young women with long legs and necks and great posture. (Suspense. 14-18)