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Dani Noir

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  129 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Aladdin
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  520 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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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 rated it really liked it
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
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 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Betsy by: Molly O'Neill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annika Klein
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ages 9+ (including adults!)
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
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.
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
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 21, 2009 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
Kat Heckenbach
Mar 04, 2013 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 rated it really liked it
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.
Monica Edinger
Apr 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Khalyia.jackson jackson
Jan 06, 2011 marked it as to-read
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!
Actual Rating: 3.5 out of 5, but rounding up

This was a surprising book. I'd expected it to be in the vein of Nova Ren Suma's other novels, which are psychological YA thrillers blended with magical / paranormal realism. But FADE OUT, which was previously released for Middle Grade readers as DANI NOIR, is a straightforward YA mystery, with shades of the quirkiness and dark edges that are synonymous with Suma's current style. The central plot revolves around 13-year-old Dani playing detective when
Halli Gomez
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book! I am a huge fan of noir movies and I loved how the author wove the movies and actresses into the story. The "femme fatale" gives Dani a sense of who she is as she navigates her world filled with love and lies.

The characters are all well developed and fun, each with their own interests and quirks. All of which impact Dani's interactions and the plot as it continuously moves forward.
The storyline, about love and lies, is full of complex issues such as new and old frie
Grace Carmack
Oct 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish they would put in the description of the book the age of the main character.

I started this book thinking it was about kids my age (16-18) and it was actually about 14 year olds. Unfortunately, I just don't do well reading about kids that young. The book definitely has to be really good (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Iron Trial, etc.) for me to read about 12-14 year olds.

The book was pretty clean. It was dull to me. Had no excitement. Just a bunch of drama that could've been
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book didn't have that much of the climate part and maybe because i have read better books but i like the style of writing. let me tell you this, the book is only telling about how she is trying to crack open Jackson's secret girlfriend because he already have a girlfriend that she knows. THAT IS THE ONLY THING! i'm disappointed but neutral throughout the book. ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super cute and has a super strong voice. I love that even Nova's middle grade has a flawed female MC. ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got words but not while I'm stuck on my phone. ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3-1/2 stars
Laurel Kathleen
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 13, 2011 added it
Shelves: noir
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
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 rated it really liked it
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
Brian Williams
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Ryan S.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
"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
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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 University and ...more

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