Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: The Hit List by Nikki Urang

The Hit List by Nikki Urang

The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to be a new beginning for Sadie Bryant. Moving across the country is exactly what she needs to escape the gossip surrounding her injury, the devastating betrayal of her ex-partner, and to rebuild her career as a solo dancer.
When the school announces that the annual Fall Showcase, a performance that secures a spot studying in London, will now require each dancer to have a partner, Sadie’s fresh start is a nightmare. Now she has to dance with Luke Morrison, the school womanizer with a big ego. Sadie doesn’t know how to trust Luke enough to dance with him after her last partner left her broken, but Luke is determined to change that.
Then, The Hit List comes out. A game of sexual conquest where guys get points for all the girls they hook up with—and it seems like every guy at the school is playing.
The girl worth the most points? Sadie.


Publishes in US: November 11th 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: ya/na hybrid contemp
Source: netgalley from spencer hill
Series? no

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   I wanted to read The Hit List because I am drawn to books about dancers. I have never done it, but I guess that is a lot of little kids' dreams. Then I read about the list, which is giving guys anonymitiy to sleep with or otherwise score with girls. I haven't read anything quite like it and I knew it could lead to some hard core emotions and heart break. 

   The main character, Sadie, has just transferred to LA after an injury with her ballet partner and ex-boyfriend. She has a lot pain inside and trust issues now. While the scene of dancing and that special bond you get from working with the same person for years, dancing with bodies aligned and the chemistry, I could definitely relate with her pain and fear of trusting again. She wants a new start, but the magazine article that was written about her and Patrick is the first thing to shadow her. Then the teachers drop the bomb shell that instead of individuals performing for the prestigious Fall Show, everyone will be auditioning and if accepted, dancing with a partner. 

    The Hit List made me and Sadie question all of the guys. I knew that only 12 were playing according to their numbers, but it casts suspicion on any guy that talks to her or asks her out. She has no intentions of putting her heart out there. But she is paired with known player and flirt, Luke. He is so frustrating-- he can be patient, sweet and attentive one minute, and then the next ignoring her or finding yet another new girl to flirt with, But as Sadie has panic attacks as Luke gets to close while dancing, we get to see the side of Luke that not many others do. He works to gain her trust, and Sadie's attraction to hot bad boy only grows and it confuses her. 

   So, besides the romance, I also like the friendship. Her roommate Brielle and token gay friend Adam both hang out with her, hoping to draw her out and let her have an outlet as well as convincing her to have some fun. 
   But I do appreciate the realism that although she goes out occasionally she puts so much focus, intensity and time into practicing and keeping up her talent. Now, I know that for story purposes there has to be other conflicts going on to help the plot, but some aren't very realistic in how much time you actually have to put into classes and practices to get and maintain talent to be at a ballet school. 

   Honestly, it did get a little too angsty at times, and I know that its the emotion coming out, and her fear, but she does say she's giving up too easy. I like that the teachers just mostly try to avoid and ignore the drama, telling her to take a water break and get right back to it instead of getting mad or taking a moment of weakness to seriously. 

   I liked the ending, and I never would have guessed who was behind the lists. As far as that it did feel a little rushed and that forgiveness or justifying it without repercussions was a little hard to be okay with. But I liked where Sadie ended up, how she grew as well as getting to know the other side of Luke. 

Bottom Line: Good drama and romantic tension

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever seen a list like this before?


  1. Angst. Maybe when I'm in the mood for it. I do like reading about the rigours and discipline ballet dancers had to endure in the name of their craft, so perhaps I'll put it in the back burner for now.

  2. I'm not big on dancing, so I think a lot of the elements in this book would go completely over my head which is just asking for trouble IMO. I'm happy that you were able to get your dance fix on though!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

  3. I've heard such good things about this one I've been dying to get my hands on it and read it. I don't typically read dance books but this one seems so different, I love it :)

  4. Hmm, I'm a little 50/50 with this one now, didn't think it would be for me since it's different to anything I've read, but I am interested in the ballet aspect, but the drama might get to me a little. And honestly, unless I'm in a mood for an angsty one or you know it will be one, then I'm okay, but I guess it also depends on the mood you're in. I've seen ones like it, mainly on tv though.

  5. I just adore books like this. It's great that you enjoyed it this much and that little drama didn't get int he way of you giving it higher rating.
    I'm adding this to my reading list now!

  6. If it's too angsty for you then it's probably way too much for me lol But I'll keep it in mind because I like the sound of both Luke and Sadie & their relationship.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  7. Gosh if you thought this was too angsty it would put me on edge because I don't do well with angst. Still I like books with dancers as well.

  8. Looks like an interesting book :) I'm glad you enjoyed it Brandi. <3

  9. Glad to know you liked this! I have been looking at it for some time because I have been considering reading it. After this great review I will add it to my TBR! The cover looks good, the plot sounds interesting and also emotional. And I like books about dancing too. :3

  10. Hmm, it sounds like a realistic and well rounded story. Not necessarily what I'll pick in a shelf but it has its merits.

  11. I'm not sure about the angst, but the rest sounds pretty good!

  12. Dance books have never been on my list of to-reads, even though I danced for 8 years when I was younger. So weird.

  13. It's nice to have a realistic story like that. I haven't read it but maybe one day.

  14. I'm glad you did enjoy this one and that the story had a nice realistic edge to it. I remember seeing this one and I might have to give it a try!

    lovely review!

  15. Nice, I love when it feels realistic and the drama and angst isn't too over done

  16. Glad to hear you enjoyed the romance and the friendship, and that you were suprised by who was behind the lists. I am curious to read this one!

  17. I'm glad the story kept you guessing which guy was on the list. The ballet setting sounds like something I would enjoy as well. Plus, a little angst and romance can be a fun mix ; )

  18. I have not read this book sound like great story but I usually stay away for books about ballet becasue i seriuosly suck at it :) lovely review

  19. This sounds like it would be fun to read as a break between my usual stuff! Angst can annoy my but I am really intrigued about this romance and the dancing side of the plot! Thanks for the review :)

  20. I think I'd really enjoy this story as well, Brandi. I love books that features dancers or musicians. I guess it's the artistic part that really talks to me.
    I don't think I'd be able to trust anyone if I was Sadie either! First of all because her former partner betrayed her, and then, knowing about that hideous list must make things even worse for her.
    Great review :)

  21. Hmm, I hadn't heard of this one. I danced for 12 years, so I'm drawn to books/movies/TV shows about dancers, but I'm kind of picky. This one sounds like it's got a cool element there with the whole list thing. Glad to hear you really enjoyed it--I'll have to add it to my TBR. Great review, Brandi!

  22. This sounds like a bit of an emotional read. I was never a dancer either, but I find it hard to relate to those kinds of reads. Great review though Brandi!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  23. I don't know that I would have picked up this one, Brandi. But after reading your review, I think I'll add it to my tbr. I like the sound of it...the realism. Thanks for a great review!

  24. Something about it makes me really like watching dancing and gymnastics

  25. what are your peeves/things you don't like

  26. I know, trust would be so hard and he talks about it so much

  27. Well, mostly I'm just a stickler for correctness when it comes to dance books because I danced for so long and I can tell when an author doesn't do their research. But I also am not a huge fan of issues books (which I know you enjoy) so I don't really like reading the books about dancers with eating disorders or dancers dealing with abuse. But I do know that those things happen, so I know that they're realistic, they're just not my kind of books. But this one sounds interesting so I'm going to have to try it out! :)


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