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Codename: Dancer

(Dani Spevak Mysteries #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  38 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
ebook, 150 pages
Published April 14th 2011
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Start your review of Codename: Dancer (Dani Spevak Mysteries, #1)
I'm still a sucker for boarding-school books and ballet books, and although this turned out to not really be either (the boarding-school element is useful only in that it explains the lack of parents; Dani ignores ballet in favour of ballroom dance in this book, and the ballroom dance isn't actually described at all; it's all about the mystery that some incredibly idiotic fourteen-year-olds are trying to solve), I'd be okay with the direction this went in if the characters were...well...not as ...more
Jun 12, 2011 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 ...more
J.A. Beard
Jun 20, 2011 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
Katie Fitzgerald
Codename: Dancer is set at a performing arts boarding school, where Daniela "Dani" Spevak has just enrolled in the dance program. Though she is new to the school and somewhat self-conscious, she is thrilled to be cast in the reality TV show, Teen Celebrity Dance Off, which will film on campus during the semester. She is even more excited when she learns her partner will be heartthrob Nick Galliano. Excitement aside, though, the show is plagued from the outset by strange and dangerous mishaps. ...more
Jan 27, 2013 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, Danis 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 ...more
Jun 09, 2011 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
Nov 18, 2012 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 ...more
Aug 01, 2011 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
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
May 11, 2011 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
Oct 23, 2011 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
Alison Fees
Jul 29, 2011 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
Jan 25, 2014 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
Mar 24, 2014 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
Alysa H.
Jan 17, 2013 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
Sep 15, 2011 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 ...more
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
Craig Hansen
Jul 04, 2011 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
Linda Andrews
Nov 21, 2011 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
May 02, 2011 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 arent 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 ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Codename Dancer is a young adult thats geared more towards younger of the young adult range. Its about Dani, a 14 yr old dancer, who earns a spot on a Teen Celebrity Dance Show. But theres a problemsomeone is trying to sabotage the show and frame her for it. Her and her friends launch their own investigation because shes 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. I
Jun 09, 2012 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 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!
Jeannie Lin
Nov 17, 2011 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.
Esmerelda Bishop
Apr 28, 2011 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.
Melanie Robertson-King
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading Codename: Dancer. I found it a fun read and although I'm not up on the technical terms for some dance steps, when mentioned, they didn't interrupt the flow of the story.

Amanda skillfully weaved the plot in such a way that the villain wasn't revealed until she was ready to do it. She also dealt with the subject of eating disorders in a sympathetic manner.

Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook-app
This book is really young! I felt like a ten year old reading it. On the other hand I would have loved to have Dani's life when I was her age, so I'm reading it for my 14-year old self! :-). I don't know if I'd recommend it for anyone tho. It's more of me living out my dream as a kid through this book! ;-)
Lisa Survillas
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I bought this to preview for my 14 year old daughter. She loves to read and is a dancer herself. I am happy to have found a book that is age appropriate and not full of sex and drinking/drug use. Still have to read the others to make sure it stays clean, but hoping this will be a good series for her.
Bev Pettersen
Apr 16, 2011 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

Other books in the series

Dani Spevak Mysteries (3 books)
  • Pointe of No Return (Dani Spevak Mysteries, #2)
  • Pas De Death (Dani Spevak Mysteries, #3)

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