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Dani Noir
Nova Ren Suma
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Dani Noir

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  477 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
A Simon & Schuster eBook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every reader.
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published (first published September 17th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dani is one of the most refreshingly REAL middle grade protagonists I've read in ages, and I say that as someone who reads middle grade daily for a living. It's like she's standing in front of you, telling you her story, just telling it like it is, as she reads. I want to give Dani a hug, the same way I always wanted to give Katherine Paterson's Gilly in THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS a hug -- not because I pity her, but just to let her know that I'm rooting for her. She's so totally unguarded, so unab ...more
Jun 27, 2011 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I said this initially and I will reiterate: I liked Dani Noir much better than Imaginary Girls if only for the fact that it's less abstract and more cohesive than the latter title. Dani Noir, in shades of melancholy and bewilderment, beautifully explores a girl's struggle to make sense of her parents' divorce. It exquisitely deconstructs the myriad of feelings of a child when she comprehends her father's betrayal. And how the consequences of this betrayal shapes her subsequently. I really liked ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
What a charming book!
This is by far one of my most favorite YA book.
I adore the main character and see myself as a young adult through her.
The cover is what made me get it. Stunning cover!!!
I'm glad I spotted this at my local library.
Apr 21, 2009 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Betsy by: Molly O'Neill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annika Barranti Klein
Jan 02, 2009 Annika Barranti Klein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 9+ (including adults!)
Shelves: fiction, mg-ya
This is, hands-down, the best middle grade book I've read since I was *in* middle school. Nova is the next Paula Danziger!

Dani is the most REAL 13-year-old I've read since Marcy Lewis. Every word of this book is a work of art.
Dani's life is falling apart: since the divorce, her mother spends most of her time crying; Dani's best friend, Maya, moved away weeks ago and has yet to call; and Dani is being forced to spend a weekend with her father and his girlfriend. At least she has the solace of the Little Art, a one-screen movie theater in her small town that is showing only film noir reels this summer. When a glimpse of a girl in pink polka-dot tights makes Dani suspect that something sketchy is going on, she begins to ...more
I ended up enjoying this children's middle-grade novel once I realized that it wasn't really a mystery. Dani, the titular classic movie-lover (she worships Rita Hayworth) and amateur sleuth, spends the summer trying to figure out if Jackson, the older boy working at the movie theater in their small town, who Dani has connected with over old films, is cheating on his girlfriend. This matters not just because she likes Jackson and his girlfriend, but because Dani's still dealing (or not dealing) w ...more
Steph Su
DANI NOIR is a powerfully entertaining and heartfelt middle-grade novel by a talented debut author to keep an eye out for. Dani is pitch-perfect and has ageless appeal, and it’s easy to connect with the issues she faces in this story.

The star of the novel is without a doubt Dani, who’s precocious with her interest in noir films, yet just self-centered enough in that way of preteens to be infuriating and endearing. She may remind you of your best and worst self in middle school—and if she doesn’t
Jun 30, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
Dani loves film noir movies. Little Art plays those lovely black and white flicks, which is the only good thing in her middle-of-nowhere town. Dani wishes her life were more like the movies and less like the suck-fest it has become now that her parents are divorced. Then one day, a mystery presents itself and Dani is on the case. There's a girl in polka-dot tights and she knows she has to figure out who she is and what she's doing. There's deeper reasons why this mystery means so much to her, an ...more
Even though Nova Ren Suma’s debut was later rebranded and marketed towards an older audience, I would say that Fade Out is pretty solidly middle grade. Dani’s in her summer between sixth and seventh grade and the themes all felt more like a middle grade than a young adult book to me. Having read most of Nova Ren Suma’s books(all but one), Fade Out threw me a little bit off balance. It’s for a younger audience, obviously, but there were other things too. Fade Out is pure, 100% realistic fiction, ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
After hearing such good things about Nova Ren Suma’s books I had high hopes for Fade Out. I’m sad to say that I was a bit disappointed with this one. The writing was good it was the story that really let me down but I won’t be giving up on Nova Ren Suma’s other books.

Fade Out is definitely a middle grade novel and I knew that going into it but I think I expected something a bit more mature than what I got. Dani is a very immature girl. She doesn’t have a very realistic outlook and she acts her a
Jul 04, 2009 Eric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high expectations for this title. Unfortunately none of them were met. I could not get over how clumsily the film summaries were injected into the narrative. As I read I was constantly taken out of the story by not very good summaries of movies everyone has already seen. Also, what small mountain town can maintain a theater that shows only classic movies? It’s not the 60s and 70s when MOMA was still renting out prints cheaply (and if the Little Arts theater has a platter projector as is im ...more
Chelsea Campbell
This book has an amazing voice. Thirteen-year-old Dani is funny and charming and always makes you feel like you're right there with her. Right away from the first line--"A slow fade-in on my life:"--her voice totally sucked me in, instantly feeling familiar and fun, like reading a letter from your best friend. I love how she compares her life to noir films while trying to cope with her parents' messy divorce. This book really captured what it feels like to be thirteen--every change that happens, ...more
Kat Heckenbach
Mar 04, 2013 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when it was called Dani Noir. It had a different cover -- an awesome one that so completely suited the story. This cover doesn't do it justice. I adored this book, the author's voice particularly. Dani is spunky, adventurous, snarky, fun. Nothing like this image.

Very glad I own an old copy with the original cover art.

But do yourself a favor and read the book anyway! :)
Dec 22, 2016 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
Wow. I'd forgotten how good books could be. (I'm talking about books I randomly pick up at the library, books I've never heard of before.) This one was great, even if it was written for thirteen-year-olds. You've got an interesting heroine (who definitely isn't perfect...or unbelievably horribly angsty either - very realistic) and a fun/twisty plot and tons of references to old noir movies that I adore (Laura, especially). Very cool.

Also, the writing style is wonderful.
Jan 11, 2010 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
I loved the cover. I loved the idea: tween girl, noir films, mystery in her life. I just . . . didn't care about the story. Sad but true. Also, I wish that the noir theme had been carried over into the writing style a bit: short witty dialogue, for example. Instead, we get a lot of "if this were a movie" description, which was tiresome. Not bad, just not great. Plus, Dani herself was difficult to like.
Jul 17, 2010 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was going to be a Nancy Drew Mystery- but had some Boyfriend troubles mixed in there. I really like the desciption and dialog and you can really relate to the charecters. 5 stars hands down.
Monica Edinger
Apr 22, 2009 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a good book! What a very good book! And what a lovely surprise too. I knew nothing about it when a publicist asked me if I wanted an ARC. I said sure and am so glad I did. Review on my blog here.
Khalyia.jackson jackson
people in my class have read this book and they are saying its reallyy good so after i finish my book im reading now i will be reading this!
Rebecca McNutt
Dani Noir is way ahead of its time and goes beyond the usual tropes of the middle-grade genre to introduce a totally unexpected and classy mystery with a lot of impressive style.
Ian Wood
Dec 04, 2014 Ian Wood rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Laurel Kathleen
Mar 13, 2017 Laurel Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging story about a 13 year old child of recent divorce whose fascination with noir films leads her to solving a noir mystery in her own life.
John Clark
May 13, 2014 John Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We first meet thirteen year old Dani when she's sitting on the roof outside her bedroom window, checking her pink cellphone because it's the only spot she can get reception near her house. She's hoping her brother who is away at soccer camp will call so she can blow him off because he's been able to escape their little nowhere town in western New York and avoid not having anything to do but watch her mom continue her meltdown as a result of her dad moving out. Dad was cheating on her and now tha ...more
My pick this week is Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma. This book is only a few years old (2009) but I never see this book mentioned that much. I was first drawn in by the cover and the name of the book. The cover deliciously illustrates the mood and tone of the book. It harkens back to old film noirs, which is what the book is also based on. This is truly a cover that fits the book and the themes within.

It's the summer between 7th and 8th grade and Dani lives in a small town in upstate New York. She i
Nov 27, 2013 Gemma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without any given context, Dani Noir is a nice standalone. The characters are well-drawn, the story is fairly good, and it's Nova Ren Suma, so the writing has a casual loveliness that I admire, and though it sounds younger here, that's excusable, because it's targeted at children, ages 9-14, according to my cover flap.

However, that's also part of the problem: I don't feel that it's really appealing to its target age group. I know that when I was 9-14 I probably wouldn't have picked it up, and i
catherine james
I was drawn to Nova Ren Suma's debut novel DANI NOIR the moment I caught sight of its title and attention-grabbing covers. Thanks to my love of pink, polka dot tights, and noir cinema, I found a new favorite author and another great addition for the keeper shelf.

Dani's having a rough summer dealing with the fallout of her parents' divorce. It's horrible watching her dad move on (and in) with his girlfriend, knowing her best has moved to a town more than an hours' drive away, and feeling so lonel
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

I was drawn to Nova Ren Suma's debut novel, DANI NOIR, the moment I caught sight of its title and attention-grabbing cover. Thanks to my love of pink, polka-dot tights and noir cinema, I found a new favorite author and another great addition for the keeper shelf.

Dani's having a rough summer dealing with the fallout of her parents' divorce. It's horrible watching her dad move on (and in) with his girlfriend, knowing her best friend has moved to a town more than
Sep 17, 2009 JilltheOWL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. It was a sweet story of a young girl maturing and beginning to look beyond herself. If you're like me tho, you will have been mislead by the summary. The summary makes it sound like a complete mystery story. It's not. I'm glad that's not all it was, because I think what it really was - was much better. Instead of it being only about Dani chasing around town looking for the mysterious girl in tights. Had it just been about that I would've never finished the book. What it's most ...more
Ryan S.
"Dani Noir," created by Nova Ren Suma, is a realistic fictional and mystery book in which the main character, a thirteen-year-old girl named Dani Callanzano, sets out to solve the mystery of the girl in pink polka-dot tights at the Little Art theater. It all began when a student worker, Jackson, begins to act weird. He suddenly loses enthusiasm about his girlfriend, and Dani sets on the quest to find out why. She also meets her "ex-friend" but that may all change. In this book, a girl not only s ...more
Brian Williams
Apr 04, 2012 Brian Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the old movie connections in this story. The book has as one of its strengths how it uses pop culture references and it does so better than most books I have read. A lot of writers could learn from how references are used in Dani Noir. I know I'm taking note. The references are not just thrown in, they are threaded into the soul of the story.
The lead character, Dani Callanzano is not the most likable young lady and that is actually how I like young lead characters because looking back, b
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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia Univers ...more
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