Title: Flirty 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.
THIS BOOK WAS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY AWESOME. Let me list the ways.
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).
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.
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