Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker

September 13th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Thanks to Nicole for the chance to review her book!

I give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from the book’s website:

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?

Sixteen year old Beth Baxter’s life merely resembles the one she’s always known.  Her father has left.  She is falling for Jeremy Duscana and the diet she started has somehow turned into an obsession.  Yet her three best friends remain the same, always there for her.

But even their love can’t save her from herself.

Dancing With Ana.  A story about the journey to acceptance of one’s own reality, the incredible bond that exists between friends and a love that truly endures all things.

This book was a really quick and enjoyable read.  We start off seeing Beth and her 3 friends are making plans to diet in hopes of becoming as pretty as the most popular girl in their school.   Beth sees it also as a way to make herself happier after having to deal with her father first having an affair, leaving their family and then finally skipping out on his weekends with Beth and her brother.  One of Beth’s friends is also dealing with a mom who is more concerned with her boyfriends than her daughter and she deals with it by cutting herself.  Barker deals with both issues, anorexia and cutting, in a tasteful manner but things move along at a pace that seems unbelievable.  It seems like everything takes place in just a couple weeks or so and resolves itself so nice and pat that I found it a little surprising.  While Beth and her friends all seem believable the boys they all have interest in seem to perfect to me.  Despite this I would suggest this book if you are looking for a quick read that deals with issues facing many of our teenagers.

On a side note I will say I wish the book had a different cover.  I found the book blurb interesting which is why I accepted this book to review but I have to admit the cover turned me off a bit.  If you have seen a few of my other posts I am really into book covers.  If a book has a great cover I am more likely to randomly pick it up from a book display over one with a cover that doesn’t catch my eye.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

10 Responses

  1. Jess

    I think the issues with the cover is why I keep not wanting to pick this book up. The cover is an instant turn off for me. :(

  2. dsuzuki

    Jess-I agree the cover is a turn off but once I started it I was pleasantly surprised. Makes me wonder how many other good books I miss out on because I don’t like their covers so never read the book blurb.

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I agree about the cover. I feel bad for authors and books that don’t have great covers as we all judge books by them, but it does sound a bit interesting. I’m not so sure i like that it wraps up so nicely. Those never seem too believable.


  4. Alyssa @ Teens Read and Write

    I admit to being influenced by covers too. This sounds like it deals with some serious issues. Lots of emotion!

  5. Emma

    This book sounds wonderful. The reviews for this book are good.I read reviews and excerpts to see if a book is good. #BBAW

  6. Shawna Lewis

    [email protected]

    My 17 year old read this book and really enjoyed it and she told me I needed to read it to so It is on my next list to read after I finish the book I am now on.
    This review was done wonderfully like all your reviews. Not to long & not at all to short. Perfect is what comes to mind!! I love reading your reviews & your interviews they always seem to confirm what books Look good to me and what books to pass on. We must be on the same WAVE length!! Well keep on keeping on!!!

    SMILES ;o.) Shawna

  7. dsuzuki

    Shawna-thanks for the lovely comments!

  8. Amy

    I’ve got a think about covers and that cover doesn’t go with the summary of the book or your review. kind of wierd. Bulimia is a tough issue. I think so many youg women put on a happy, I’m doing great mask but inside they feel down and lacking control over their life. This happens to many girls from homes where there’s seperation, divorce, affairs and things like that. My heart goes out to girls struggling with eating disorders because they can really hurt you physically and there’s so much psychological pain involved. It seems strange that this was a quick read like you said.
    I thought this was a great review!

    #BBAW Gift card

  9. MarthaE

    I have to agree that a cover can draw you in or turn you away from a book! I appreciated your review as I have seen a couple different reactions to this book. I didn’t choose to read this due to time constraints and because I don’t read a lot of YA. #BBAW

  10. Alessandra


    This book sounds very good. For some reason, I like books about girls with eating disorders. I also like the cover art, although I don’t think it has much to do with anorexia.

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