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Codename: Dancer (Dani Spevak Mystery #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

At first their partnership is awkward, because Dani is in awe of her longtime teen idol crush. But soon their chem
ebook, 150 pages
Published April 14th 2011
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(showing 1-30 of 433)
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Jun 13, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Codename: Dancer is the debut YA novel by author Amanda Brice, and the first in a series centering around aspiring dancer Dani Spevak, Being a lover of all things dance-related, I was delighted to read a book centered around the dance world. Dani is a high school freshman, and a new student at a performing arts boarding school in Arizona. Initially excited to have been selected as a dancer on a reality show, things change for her quickly as things begin to go wrong, usually with her at it's cent ...more
Mar 24, 2014 April rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel, although it was fluffy. But then, I think the fluffiness is what made it fun for me - I read it during times when my brain couldn't manage deeper fiction or homework, so the fluffiness was quite enjoyable. It was also very fun, and I look forward to reading more Daniela Spevak mysteries. (I was quite delighted to find out that yes, there are in fact more books by Amanda Brice!!)

However, although it was listed as a YA novel, I think parts of it were more MG. I'm not p
Jan 25, 2014 Courtney rated it it was ok
Shelves: teens
I strongly considered a one star rating, but decided to go with two instead. It was just not good. The characters were a little ridiculous, nothing special or memorable about any of them. Plus, they were idiots, and I don't enjoy reading about a bunch of idiots. The spy/mystery part was just dumb. Then the author throws in the whole eating disorder thing (Dani is a dancer after all, so it must be part of the plot!). It didn't bother me that it was part of her character. I think most dancers have ...more
May 13, 2011 Kelli rated it really liked it
This book was a lot of fun! It was a perfect example of YA done right. It was a fast, light read with a good mystery and an even better message.

Dani is a 14 year-old dancer who is new to a performing arts boarding school. She makes fast friends with some other dancers and they audition for the coveted spots on the Teen Celebrity Dance Off team. After the team members are chosen and rehearsals begin, things start to go wrong. Dani and her friends set out to solve the mystery of who is sabotaging
Sep 15, 2011 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Thought this was a pretty good first YA book. It's a mystery/YA, complete with a TV Ballroom Dancing reality show at the center of the mystery. Dani is a dancer in her first year at a performance arts boarding school. Freedom as a freshman, what more could a girl want? Little does she know that her new school is being used as the location to shoot a new reality series in which celebrity teens are paired up with your average dance school teen. Dani goes to the auditions thinking it was all in vai ...more
Linda Andrews
Nov 21, 2011 Linda Andrews rated it really liked it
Dani Spevak travels from New Jersey to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend the prestigious Mountain Shadows Performing Arts High School. This is the first time Dani's been on her own. She's enjoying the freedom and opportunities--especially the one to be on a new reality teenage dance show. While being selected from the many dancers is flattering, it soon proves unhealthy. First a stage accident, then a studio fire. Soon it becomes apparent that someone's out to stop the show and the list of suspects ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
Codename: Dancer (A Dani Spevac Mystery) is a cute middle grade book about Dani who has just arrived at a performing arts boarding school. Dani is lucky enough to be cast as a dancer in a dancing with the stars like reality show but there's a problem. Someone has been sabotaging the show. A set falls down injuring one of the dancers, a bomb is planted in Dani's purse and more. Dani and her friends decide to put their spying skills to the test so they can save the show.

This is an adorable book an
Alison Fees
Aug 02, 2011 Alison Fees rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of dance! Really I watch So You Think You Can Dance every week. LOL. Of course that doesn't make me an expert but anything dance related appeals to me.

I instantly fell in love with Dani. Maybe it's because my daughters name is Dani or just because the character has some spunk to her. I felt that her emotions were real and the way she reacted to situations would be the same as most teenage girls today. Her desire to fit in and be able to solve the crime on her own had me wondering what
Jan 27, 2013 Read2review rated it really liked it
I had the fortune of reading Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice. I have to say that this was a very entertaining piece. From the very beginning, Dani’s young teenage voice was apparent and remained constant throughout the piece. As a lover of mysteries I thought that the culprit was a little easy to figure out. But, keeping in mind that this is a novel for young teens, I thought that the clues and suspenseful moments were placed very well. The story moved quickly and there was always a new develop ...more
J.A. Beard
Jun 20, 2011 J.A. Beard rated it really liked it
A Good Book Alert Review:

Codename: Dancer
Author: Amanda Brice
Genre: YA Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars

Codename: Dancer is a delightful YA mystery with a touch of romance.


Fourteen year-old dancer Dani Spevak's fortunes at her new performing arts schools seem to be turning around when she's selected to dance with a gorgeous teen actor on a reality show. Just as quickly though, her fortunes reverse when a series of suspicious accidents strike the set. Now, this
Craig Hansen
Sep 25, 2011 Craig Hansen rated it really liked it
If you buy this book expecting a high-school equivalent of ALIAS, adjust your expectations. Codename: Dancer is not quite as spy-oriented as the title makes one expect, but Dani Spivek does make for an interesting modern day Nancy Drew.

If dancing isn't your thing, be aware that there's dancing, as well as dance terminology, and a lot of it in Codename: Dancer. That said, there is a mystery to be solved and in good cozy fashion, our main character is drawn in by being the main suspect aying tof t
Oct 23, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
For a young adult mystery novel it was cute. I found the characters were really cut out and defined but even at moments they had their own flaws. It was something I thought would be good for young girls to read the romance scenes were not over steamy or to graphic leaving it to be rather a good young adult novel. Definately something I will suggest for my daughter once she gets a little older to read it. I found myself laughing in some parts and angry in others at the right moments you should be ...more
Ella Zegarra
Nov 28, 2013 Ella Zegarra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Más reseñas: El Extraño Gato del Cuento

Cogí el libro por todo la representación del arte me fascina, sumándole eso la cuota de misterio que inspira el título, le tenía ciertas expectativas al libro. Debo decir que Nombre en Clave Bailarina no es un libro malo, pero es tan ligero que vuela, tu eReader flotará.

La historia es tan rápido que no es imposible conectarse, sin contar que de misterio no tiene nada, es obvio quién es el responsable de todo el enredo, lo continúe pensando que quizá era una
Nov 13, 2011 Sonny rated it liked it
Dani is an aspiring dancer who attends an all arts boarding school. And the school is hosting Teen Celebrity Dance Off tv show. Dani makes the cut and is also paired with a gorgeous rising actor. Sparks begin to fly between the two. She feels like she has everything.

But things begin to go wrong. People are getting hurt, things are going missing, huge threats; it seems someone is adamant on stopping the show from going on. Dani and her friends become their own little detective squad to solve the
Alysa H.
May 22, 2015 Alysa H. rated it liked it
I won a copy of this book in Elle Casey's 2013 January Anniversary Indie Book Giveaway.

This was a fun little book, but I'm having some trouble reviewing it because although I read a lot of YA books, this one was a bit too "Y" for me. If I had a teenage daughter into current teen pop-culture, I think she'd enjoy it (though as a parent I would probably wish that it had just a tad more substance).

I liked the relationships between the narrator, Dani, and her small circle of friends. I could have do
Larimar Benítez
Continuando leyendo novelas alejadas de la fantasía, se me presentó la oportunidad de leer Nombre en clave: Bailarina de la escritora Amanda Brice. Este es el primero título de una serie que tiene como protagonista a Daniela Spevak.

En este libro Daniela, o Dani, acaba de ingresar a la academia de artes Mountain Shadows, donde se llevará a cabo un programa televisivo, Teen Celebrity Dance-off. Dani adicionará y conseguirá ser parte del elenco. Su pareja de baile será el actor juvenil en ascenso
Nov 21, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Codename: Dancer is a great teen mystery by Amanda Brice. Dani Spevak is a freshman at Mountain Shadows Performing Arts School, hoping to pursue her career as a ballerina. Dani has a hard time fitting in at first, so she is thrilled when she hears that the hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off is coming to campus. She secures her spot on the cast, and begins working harder then ever with her partner/celebrity-crush Nick Galliano. She is living the dream life; dancing with every teenage girl's c ...more
Jun 10, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
CODENAME: DANCER, by Amanda Brice, is a young adult female detective story with a bit of class and dance mixed in. I am in no way a dancer, but in this book I completely understood the world of dancing (at least a little bit). Brice's prose helped me visualize the dance scenes seamlessly, and there is also a reference of the dance vocabulary in the back of the book.

I think teens will definitely enjoy this book. There are many pop culture references that helped me 'see' Dani in my mind and really
2.5 stars
Another book a bit more on the young end of YA. Basic plot: Dani's just started school at a boarding school for young artists. It's announced that students from the school will be participating in a Dancing with the Stars-like show, paired up with teen celebrities. When disasters start occurring on set and cast members get injured, Dani and her friends decide to investigate. As a DWTS fan, I enjoyed the dance scenes, but I found it a bit unrealistic that as a dance student (even one who
Jan 05, 2013 Aydrea rated it really liked it
This book was so cute. It felt sort of middle grade to me, but that might have been because the MC was only 14. For me personally I figured out who was behind everything almost right away, but it was still fun to read along with Dani to see how she figured it out. The reason this book is awesome is because it's about dance and it's a mystery, what's not to love? This was a fun, quick read that I really enjoyed. Oh and the whole "Dancing With the Stars" type tv show aspect was fun!

Dani was such a
The Pen & Muse
If you are looking for a fun mystery then you will love Codename Dancer by Amanda Brice. This story follows Dani a dancer who has just arrived at a performing arts boarding school. Dani is lucky enough to be cast as a dancer in a dancing with the stars like reality show , but things aren’t what they seem. Someone is sabotaging the show and people are getting hurt. Dani seeks to find out what is going on and turns on her sleuth skills. I really loved the story and the characters in this, Brice su ...more
Katie Fitzgerald

There were a few very minor editing issues I picked up on throughout the book, which occasionally caused me to stumble over a sentence or passage, but didn't really take away from my enjoyment of the story. I also wondered if maybe the eating disorder aspect of the story was tied up too neatly. I think it's great that Dani took ownership of it and took steps to help correct the problem, but it seemed way too easy, possibly sending the message that anorexic urges can be turned on and off at will.
Jen - At Random
May 22, 2012 Jen - At Random rated it really liked it
Codename Dancer is a young adult that’s geared more towards younger of the young adult range. It’s about Dani, a 14 yr old dancer, who earns a spot on a Teen Celebrity Dance Show. But there’s a problem…someone is trying to sabotage the show and frame her for it. Her and her friends launch their own investigation because she’s not about to go down without a fight.

I knew who the culprit was almost right away but it was still interesting seeing the characters sleuthing their way through the mystery
Apr 03, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Although very young, this novel was a great little read, definitely aimed towards younger teen readers, but enjoyable all the same.

Great characters and plot, engaging writing and intriguing sub-plot.
definitely worth the read.
Jun 10, 2012 Suzan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, it was fun having it set in a dance school and I like how it had a sub-plot towards the middle/end around body image/eating disorders as the main character Dani is bordering on being anorexic cause she feels pressure to watch her weight as a dancer so she doesn't get passed over for roles. Having had a cousin suffer from an eating disorder in the past I like how it was handled with her friends trying to approach her carefully about it but having their intentions revealed when she ...more
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
This was a very cute book. I really enjoyed meeting Dani and her new friends at the boarding school! For some reason I really enjoy reading books that take place in boarding schools. Maybe because being away form home the kids get into more trouble and that makes for a better story. I am a huge fan of "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" so this story fed my obsession.
It had likable characters, and a fun, clean plot. This would be a good read for a young teen, but I enjoyed
Misha Crews
Aug 30, 2011 Misha Crews rated it really liked it
I know nothing about ballet (unfortunately) and my teenage years are far behind me (also unfortunately!), but I couldn't put this book down. I found myself drawn into Dani's world, fascinated by the dangerous mystery that enfolds her just as her wildest dream is about to come true. Took me right back to long summer afternoons reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. This book is perfect for mystery lovers, ballet enthusiasts and young people of all ages. Can't wait for Dani Spevak's next adventure!
Esmerelda Bishop
May 07, 2011 Esmerelda Bishop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know much about dancing, but I love the show So You Think You Can Dance. When I saw this book was centered around a reality dance show competition, I had to read it. I worried about being lost, but Mrs. Brice did a fantastic job of showing the dance terms I wasn't familiar with, so I had no problem visualizing how the characters were moving. The mystery was well done too. I kept thinking I knew who did it, but kept being proven wrong. I'm looking forward to more Dani Spevak Mysteries.
Jeannie Lin
Nov 17, 2011 Jeannie Lin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
A fun switch from my normal reading. This light teen mystery takes place at a performing arts school and revolves around freshman Dani Spevak as she tries to fit in. She lands a role in a teen reality show version of Dancing with the Stars and has to solve the mystery of who is trying to sabotage the show and apparently take her down with it. Cute and engaging. Great for young readers--it reminded me of the Taffy Sinclair books I used to gobble up in middle school.
Bev Pettersen
Apr 16, 2011 Bev Pettersen rated it it was amazing
Codename: Dancer is an excellent read--fast, well plotted and the characters are especially believable. I felt like I was back in school again!

You don't have to be a dance expert to enjoy this book, but the contest idea was very cool and the mystery element also drew me in, so much that I finished it in one sitting. I hope to see more from this author; she's a very good writer.
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As a little girl, Amanda Brice dreamed of being either a ballerina or the author of a mystery series featuring a cool crime-solving chick named Nancy Flew, but her father urged her to “do something practical,” so she went to law school and spent her days writing briefs and pleadings instead of fiction.

But dance and writing have remained a part of her life. Amanda was a member of the ballroom dance
More about Amanda Brice...

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Dani Spevak Mystery (3 books)
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