DANI NOIR by Nova Ren Suma

DANI NOIR

Age Range: 9 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

The heroine’s fresh voice and offbeat hobby enlivens this low-key bildungsroman. Dani, “rising fourteen,” is having the Worst Summer Ever. Stuck in a boring small town, missing her best friend and (sorta) coping with her parents’ divorce, Dani’s only solace is the classic noir festival at the local movie theater. When the affable projectionist’s out-of-booth behavior starts to echo her father’s infidelity, Dani becomes obsessed with “fixing” this one corner of her life by modeling herself on her beloved femmes fatales. Smart and witty, if self-absorbed to an annoying degree, Dani never fails to be an entertaining protagonist. Her long-suffering friends and family are portrayed with nuance and charm, and the constant stream of film trivia is smoothly integrated into the narrative. The copious allusions to electronic social networking contrast pleasingly with the old-fashioned timelessness of the cinematic references, even though they may lend a dated feeling to the story fairly quickly. There isn’t anything particularly new about Dani’s dilemma or what she learns over the course of the summer, but this very familiarity will lend appeal to those in a similar situation. An above-average debut. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7564-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Aladdin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2009




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