Monday, February 6, 2017

"Dani Noir" by Nova Ren Suma

Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) recommended this to me a few weeks ago, since we share a love of film noir and YA fiction.  Dani Noir is about thirteen-year-old Danielle, or Dani, whose parents are newly divorced, who hates being stuck in a small town with no cell phone reception, and who seeks refuge in the local art-house theater that is showing classic noir films all summer long.  She tries to do a little detective work like what she sees onscreen to figure out if someone is two-timing her erstwhile babysitter.  She tries to come to grips with the fact that her father is remarrying.  And she learns a lot of lessons about love, friendship, and telling the truth.

This is a fast-paced book, and while my library has it in the young adult section, I feel like it's really more middle-grade level, aimed at tweens.  The characters are engaging and layered, and I enjoyed the book overall.  My favorite part was definitely all the detail about film noir and the ways Dani tried to make sense of her own troubles by comparing them to things she saw onscreen.  Reminds me a lot of myself as a teen, though I was more like sixteen or seventeen when I discovered noir.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG.  No bad language or questionable scenes, but a lot of discussion of parents divorcing because one had an affair that would upset some kids.

8 comments:

  1. You reviewed this! Glad you enjoyed it. :) The next YA adventure you need to embark on is the Embassy Row series. It's pretty great.

    ~Eva

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    1. I did! It was very fun, especially since I've seen all but one or two of the films it involved.

      I currently have 4 books out of the library and 3 from my own TBR shelves lined up, not to mention being in the midst of The Lord of the Rings. And someone just loaned me three giant chunksters out of the blue. So the Embassy Row books are now on my wish list for books from the library, and there they will stay for a while.

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  2. Oh! This looks and sounds really good! I WILL have to try it sometime!!

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    1. MovieCritic, you'd get a kick out of all the movie stuff :-)

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  3. I need to read this book! I love film noir films, so this sounds like a fun book to read. I am also writing a mystery with a film noir feel. It's kind of hard because I'm not sure how intricate I want to make the plot, but I've been trying to make a film noir movie in my head and then write what I see in my head.

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    1. Ekaterina, it's a very fun book. I wrote a sort of noiry novella when I was a teen -- such a great feel to try to capture! Mysteries are super hard, though. I totally recommend the book How to Write a Damn Good Mystery by James N. Frey if you're looking for help on how to plot stuff and whatever. I've written a total of one mystery, and it was a big help with that.

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    2. Thank you for the recommendation! I just got the book from the library. I can't wait to read it, and I hope it will help me answer questions that have about my own mystery novel.

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    3. You're quite welcome! I hope you find it as enlightening and helpful as I did. I quite like several of his other books as well.

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