A review of Just Dance by Erika Holt (in Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, Edge, 2011)
By Derek Newman-Stille
Marie-Lunie is a girl who has one eye in one world and one in another. Erika Holt’s teen fiction steam-punky supernatural story Just Dance explores a girl who has discovered that her father has been keeping research secrets. Marie-Lunie has one natural eye and one artificial one, made of a crimson glass orb she found on her father’s desk. The eye allows her to see into the spiritual world and opening her spiritual eye allows her to travel into the Otherrealm.
Marie is an outsider, a social outcast from her school and escapes from the taunting of the other students into her own independent world. Her worldview is challenged when one of the popular girls comes to her house needing help finding her father and Marie has to lead her into a world of the supernatural in order to help a popular girl who treats her and her friends with disgust.
Holt takes a ride into the outsider realm, a place of the Otherrealm where things can be seen that are ignored by the ‘normal’ parts of society, the popular people. It is only through a girl who is born with one eye missing who lives on the fringes that is able to see through the fictions of the world, and question society’s popular assumptions.
Holt takes her readers on a quest through their own assumptions and their own limits, opening her teen readers to the idea that the popular and the unpopular aren’t really that different. When there are monsters in the world, are people really that different from each other? And, really, are the monsters so different after all? Holt’s Just Dance isn’t limited to a teen audience and any reader will enjoy her creative, comic exploration.
To read more about Erika Holt, go to http://www.inkpunks.com/about/erika-holt/ . You can explore this story and others in Tesseracts Fifteen, available from Edge and Tesseracts Books at http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/tess15/t15-catalog.html.