Friday 25 July 2014

Review ~ Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan.

Title: Flirty Dancing.
Author: Jenny McLachlan.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.
Genre: Young Adult.
Release Date: July 3, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

A warm, hilarious bestseller-to-be. Geek Girl meets Dirty Dancing meets Louise Rennison’s Tights, all rolled into an irresistible story of friendship, bullies and how to steal a heart on the dancefloor.

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.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.

I was drawn to Flirty Dancing by its quirky cover and its Louise Rennison-style comparison and the book itself was just as fun as I had been expecting. The main character, Bea, is on the surface very shy and afraid to be herself. At school, her childhood best friend turned bully makes her time very uncomfortable and sees Bea lacking in confidence. At home, however, Bea is full of life and can be just as mad as her crazy, loveable family.

From nursery, ‘The Ladybirds’ were four best friends; Bea, Kat, Betty and Pearl. Now at high-school, I found it really interesting just how different they all were from each other. I’m really pleased to see that each Ladybird will get their own story because their characters are all so unique. Kat in this story grated on me a little bit because I wanted her to be protective over her apparent friend, Bea, and not so ashamed of her at times but I think she also suffered from a bit of similar fear.

I’ve been the girl who was picked on, the one who never stood up for herself and so I knew the journey I wanted to see Bea go on. I loved seeing her character grow and when she took to dancing with Ollie, a whole new side was brought out in Bea and it was sweet and uplifting to see her change in attitude. She was very likeable, quite innocent and na├»ve at times but smart. She knew her own mind and what she wanted, even if she found that difficult to express.

Her relationship with her family was a joy to read. Her mentality and approach towards her family is one I see as relatable to a lot of the targeted readers of Flirty Dancing. At times, she may find her wacky nan, little sister Emma and the rest of her family as a little over-the-top and embarrassing but on the whole, you could tell how much love she had for them and how she wouldn’t have a bad word said about them.

I adored this plot and thought Flirty Dancing was a really cute, amusing read but I would have liked to see an added twist or two – not necessarily to change the outcome of the novel but maybe to make me at least question whether the plot was going to turn out pretty much exactly how I thought it would from the start. It was completely entertaining but just a little too predictable for me to be fully satisfied with it. Though it was light-hearted on the whole, Flirty Dancing touches on some more serious themes too and I thought the author clearly wrote in some important messages for young readers. I can’t wait to see what Jenny brings us with the other Ladybirds’ stories.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. Another great review that is probably going to cost me... I can't wait to read this book!

    1. Thanks, Lavender! Never get tired of costing you money ;) hope you like it!


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