Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan – CUTEST BOOK EVER

Title: flirty dancingFlirty Dancing

Author: Jenny McLachlan

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 300 pages

Published by: Bloomsbury

Source: received in exchange for review (thanks, Bloomsbury!!)


Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It’s just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

Prepare yourselves for dancing gifs, everyone. 


1) Bea’s sister Emma. Emma is by turns a cat, a frog and adorable little sister. She made me laugh so many times throughout the book, and is a very realistic three-year-old (unfortunately, I know many of these unnatural creatures).

2) Dancing!

Well, not, not that kind of dancing.

The dancing Bea, our protagonist, does is called jive. Which is so refreshing and lovely, because most of the time you hear about hip hop or ballet or jazz or something common. Jive is awesome. It’s a lot of fun to watch. If you’re like me and enjoy watching people dance because you’re not great at the actual dancing part, you should definitely head over to Youtube and watch some. It’s fantastic.

There should be more books about dance.

3) Bea, our main character

In the beginning she’s not your most confident character. But she comes out of her shell a lot, and I loved watching her grow over the course of the novel.

4) The general hilarity

Especially from Bea’s grandma. As well as Emma, of course. This book was laugh-out-loud funny.

5) The middle grade-ness

This is apparently a YA, but other people had told me to go into this book as if it was an MG. Which I did, and it worked splendidly. There are a few things that cross over into more YA (drinking, etc) but they’re mentioned only briefly, so my suspension of disbelief didn’t suffer.

6) Did I mention the dancing?

(Also, you are very welcome for that gif)

On the same day as reading this, I also watched the new Footloose movie, so that might have explained why I’m so obsessed with dance right now. Tumblr gifs of it are very funny, too.

7) Great themes

There were themes of friendship and confidence and bullying – there was so much jam-packed into this very small book, and it all worked really well together. I felt so sorry for Bea at times, and wanted to cheer for her at others.

8) Ollie

I won’t say anything more in case I spoil something, but he’s a really lovely character.

9) Unexpected ending

I was wondering how this would end and I’m glad it ended the way it did. If you’ve read the book you might know what I mean when I say that it could have gone with a cheap out that wouldn’t have felt authentic.

If you haven’t read the book…what are you waiting for? Go into it as though it’s an MG and you’ll probably have a ton of fun with it.

Rating: 4.5/5 Wonderkitties


15 thoughts on “Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan – CUTEST BOOK EVER

  1. You’re right – one of the cutest books ever and I think Emma is a huge contributing factor to that! 😀 She’s adorable. And I like that Jive is featured. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s out of style! So good that you liked it so much. Are you planning on reading the rest of the Ladybird novels when they are released? I’m a little curious to see Pearl’s story. 🙂

  2. OMG, that gif. THAT CRAZY GIF. (Where do you find these things???!!) Anyway. Flirty Dancing is definitely so super cute, right?!! It wasn’t quite me, just for personal preference of what to read, but I still thought it was well written and cute. IT’S SO CUTE IM GONNA DIE.

    • Tumblr. Seriously, just Tumblr. And we’re on Sherlock hiatus so people are going a bit crazy 😛 since you don’t like dancing I can see why it wasn’t really for you – maybe the next book/s won’t feature jiving so much? 🙂

    • That GIF is epic! I absolutely loved this one too, the humour and fluff were just so fun and heartwarming. Emma was clearly the real star, how adorbs was she! I was snorting with laughter at her antics. I loved it and looking forward to seeing the series unfold with the other Ladybirds, I just hope they’re just as funny. Awesome review Em.

  3. Awww, I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this so much, love! That dancing gif is hilarious, and I think I was on stitches for a good five minutes after seeing that! I like that this one has an MG feel. For some reason, I want to read stuff outside YA (MG and Adult woohoo) and this would definitely work for me!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • MG’s great sometimes – just a little bit out of YA. And because I read so much YA it can be good to have a break. MG is often so cute, haha. I think this is supposed to be YA, but it worked much better in my mind as MG 🙂

  4. sounds like they took a chance with the ending but I’m glad it was realistic! I actually tried to pick up this book the other day, but I just wasn’t feeling it. You really need to be in a light hearted mood to read it, I guess. I’m looking forward to the dancing and the fluffiness though 🙂

  5. I loved this one too Emily, glad to see that you liked it 🙂 It made for a really enjoyable and light read, and the ending I agree went in a good way which didn’t make it seem too cliched.

  6. Hello – thanks for this totally lovely review of my book! Am I allowed to write a reply on a review of my book?? I’ve really loved reading all the Aussie reviews – you have an amazing community of readers. I’m also a massive fan of Australia so I’m really tickled to imagine it being published there. I’m so pleased you read it as a MG book as I wrote it for 11-14 year olds – is this MG?? – and this is how it’s being marketed in the UK. By the way, is it OK if I put a link to this blog on my website?
    Thanks again, Emily, and the Aussie blogging community for caring about Bea, Emma and Ollie and for taking the time to put together such thoughtful reviews of FD.
    PS I love Emma too! She’s a mix of my sister (many years ago) and my two daughters who are still very Emma-like. I manage to get Emma in to book 2 which is going to be called (drum roll)…. Love Bomb!
    I’ve just had a sneaky peak at the cover. Very nice!

    • You are SO allowed to write a reply! I’m sure if I ever get published I will read all of the reviews and reply to them haha. The Aussie YA Blogger community is so amazing and I’m really happy to be a part of it. MG is definitely around that age range so maybe some readers just misunderstood the category – but I loved it as it is, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any different!

      HOW EXCITING about the next book! I can’t wait to read it 🙂 thanks for stopping by my review!

  7. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves and the end of school holidays *sigh* | The Loony Teen Writer

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