Title: Dani Noir
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary / Mystery
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
If this were a movie, you’d open to the first page of this book and be transported to a whole other world. Everything would be in black and white, except maybe for the girl in pink polka-dot tights, and this really great music would start to swell in the background. All of a sudden, you wouldn’t be able to help it–you’d be a part of the story, you’d be totally sucked in. You’d be in this place, filled with big lies, mysterious secrets, and a tween girl turned sleuth….
Zoom in on thirteen-year-old Dani Callanzano. It’s the summer before eighth grade, and Dani is stuck in her nothing-ever-happens town with only her favorite noir mysteries at the Little Art movie theater to keep her company.
But one day, a real-life mystery begins to unravel–at the Little Art! And it all has something to do with a girl in polka-dot tights…. Armed with a vivid imagination, a flair for the dramatic, and her knowledge of all things Rita Hayworth, Dani sets out to solve the mystery, and she learns more about herself than she ever thought she could.
Dani Noir. Oh. My Goodness.
This book was a lot of fun. In all truth, I didn’t expect to like it so much since I had only read one other book by the author and wasn’t a huge fan of it (sorry to Imaginary Girls fans). After reading that one, I knew I still had this one on my shelf. I may have been ignoring it slightly.
However, this book is NOTHING like the first one I read. This book is aimed more towards middle grade readers and was just such a delight to read from the first pages.
Here’s the thing: I kind of love old movies. I love the black and white of them all, the romance, the mystery, the characters — everything. It was nice to see the main character, Dani, obsessed with these movies, so much so that when things happen in real life, she immediately wonders how events would play out had real life actually been a movie. Her determination made her extremely likable, in my opinion, and not only that, but she was also such a great heroine of the story. She was never acting outside of her age and the events that happened around her really were the events that might surround a young girl. Dani was just extremely imaginative — which makes the story so very enjoyable!
I loved how the whole story read a bit like a mystery novel, but was still so real. There was just nothing fake about it. It also has friendship, romance, and the parents are there! I love a story where the parents are actually present!
See, now I’m on the fence about Nova Ren Suma’s books — could it be that I might like more of her stuff now? I guess all I can do is try more of her works out to see! This book definitely made me love her.